Candidate faces extra challenge in running against Iorio by Mitch E. Perry01/17/07
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The first declared candidate to challenge Mayor Iorio in her re-election bid was Tampa Police Department Captain Marion Serious Lewis.
But the Iorio administration – quoting a state law - says that if Lewis qualifies to run against her at the end of this week, he’ll need to resign his job at the TPD. The City cites a law that says candidates must resign if they are running for their boss’s job and the boss – Mayor Iorio – is seeking re-election.
But Lewis says Police Chief Stephen Hogue is his boss, not Iorio.
Yesteday, Tampa city attorney David Smith wrote to Lewis, saying he’ll seek a court opinion on the matter, but said that ‘to comply with the law’, once Lewis qualifies to run, he will be deemed to have resigned.
Marion Lewis strongly disagrees (roll tape#1 o.q.”their position”)
Lewis said he contacted the Secretary of State’s Division of Elections Office a year ago about his strategy to see if he could use accumulated vacation time from his job with the TPD to run for May. He says that office said there was no conflict. But he says the City wants to punish him for the audacity of running against Pam Iorio.
If Lewis runs, he will be a considerable underdog to Tampa’s current Mayor. But Lewis says that the city has been going backwards in the last 4 years, and thus the need for his candidacy (roll tape#2 o.q.” like right now”)
Lewis said he would have welcomed Dick Greco entering the race.