Alex Sink headlines Election Eve rally for Democrats in Ybor City
Last night, on the eve of today's elections, Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink made a "hometown" stop at the Ritz theater in Ybor City along with several other statewide Democratic contenders.
Virtually every democratic candidate on the state and local ballot was at the Ritz theater in Ybor City yesterday for a brief but fiery barnstorming rally to get the vote out in the neck and neck race between Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink and Republican Rick Scott. Former Florida Attorney General candidate Dave Aronberg opened the rally with these words.
With Alex Sink and Rick Scott essentially tied in the polls coming into today's election, the rally's focus was dragging Democrats out to the polls today for an election that pundits widely expect to lean toward Republicans. After dancing her way on to the stage to Micheal Jackson's Billie Jean, Sink got to the point of the rally.
"Not time to celebrate quite yet. What have we got to get everybody to do tomorrow? Vote! This is about voting. How many people have already voted?"
Also at the rally was At Large County Commission Candidate Linda Saul-Sena. WMNF asked her how she spent the last day of her campaign before today's election.
"I'm feeling great. Today we were making calls to Republican women in unincorporated Hillsborough County. They realize that I'm the only woman running for the County Commission and they want balance. They are supporting me so that's terrific."
Saul-Sena is facing Republican Ken Hagen and Independent Jim Hosler for the District 5 seat on the Hillsborough County Commission. Last week, a Saul-Sena sign stating that Ken Hagen "honors confederate memorial day" created a controversy when Hagen noticed the sign outside an early voting location in College Hill. Commissioner Hagen denounced the sign as "despicable race baiting" but Saul-Sena still stands by her use of the sign.
"It was a direct quote from him in the paper. And he got so incensed when he saw the sign that he picked it up, it was my sign, and he threw it on the ground and he stomped into the voting place and the truth is that he wants to run away from his record, but that's his record."
Today's election is predicted to put Republicans back in control of the US House of Representatives and give Democrats a much smaller majority in the Senate. At the Sink rally in Ybor City, WMNF asked member of Congress Kathy Castor if she felt that the country as a whole was shifting to the right.
"No, I don't think it's a shift to the right. I think it's anger at the political system. I've been in Congress for a couple of years and even I'm angry at the Congress. With all the economic turmoil in people's lives there's a lot of uncertainty but it's folks like Alex Sink who are honorable and have great integrity that we need in office to restore hope."
What's your feeling about the Tea Party?
"I really haven't seen to much of them here locally in the Tampa Bay area. It's really going to be candidate to candidate kind of races. We'll see. I'm very hopeful. We're not going to give up until the very end."
Although several Democratic candidates are facing tough odds in elections across the country today, Florida's Democrats are holding on to hope that Alex Sink can buck the trend and take the Governor's race. Mitch Kates, a local Democratic consultant remains optimistic.
"The people that have waited, that haven't voted yet, they wanted to take a good hard look at the candidates, when you compare Alex Sink with Rick Scott there's a clear choice. I feel really good about Alex's chances tomorrow."
Looking at some of the other races?
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"I think one of the things that we'll find out when the dust settles, there's been a tremendous amount of money that's found it's way into the state of Florida, and is being spent in the state of Florida. A lot of special interest groups involved and I'm not really sure what the outcomes are going to be. There's definitely been hard fought races. But I think we're all going to start seeing the byproduct of what special interest money does mean in the election process. More so than ever before."