Redner vs. Miller election eve03/26/07 Mitch E. Perry
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In about 13 hours, Tampa citizens will finally get a chance to decide in the Gwen Miller Joe Redner race for Tampa’s City Council District 1 race.
Wayne Garcia is the Political Editor of Creative Loafing. He says tomorrow’s election should be close , but he would not be surprised if the iconoclaustic Redner, in his 6th try for public office , pulls it out (roll tape#1 o.q.”unimaginable”)
Immediately after the general election earlier this month, Gwen Miller’s husband and campaign manager, former State Senator Les Miller, said that the Miller team had no inclination to put forth a negative campaign assailing Redner’s character.
Les Miller’s exact quote to the St. Petersburg Times on March 8th was “Tell me who does not know Joe owns strip clubs….We’re gong to run a campaign that deals with issues”.
But less than 2 weeks later, that high minded attitude was thrown out the window. Saying that Redner’s comment to Fox 13 that he was “more black than she is”, was offensive, the Miller team last week began calling voters and reminding them of Redner’s association with the Mons Venue and previous arrests in his 66 year old life.
But Creative Loafing Political Director Wayne Garcia says that Redner quote may have been a convenient explanation for going personal in this hotly contested election (roll tape#2 o.q. “to re-inforce the idea”)
At a debate hosted by the League of Women Voters 2 weeks ago, Joe Redner said he wanted to provide an incentive to Tampa voters to come out to the polls, after the dismal lack of participation in the March 6th General election. So he said that a proof of voting sticker would provide free admission to his Mons Venue nightclub, or a week free of charge to use the equipment at his Extreme Fitness gym on South Howard Avenue.
Not surprisingly, it was the Mons Venus reference that made the headlines. Conventional wisdom amongst some local pundits is that it might have doomed Redner’s chances. But Wayne Garcia says that if the Christain right is mobilizing to vote for Gwen Miller on Tuesday, they’ve kept it relatively low key (roll tape#3 o.q.” cause some problems”)
The Polls open in Tampa tomorrow at 7AM. Oh yes, in District 7, which encompasses New Tampa and Forest Hills, Frank Margarella faces off against Joseph Cataeno in the race to replace Shawn Harrison.