Buckhorn and Ferlita in runoff for Tampa Mayor - Greco left behind

03/02/11 Janelle Irwin
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Tampa Mayoral candidate Bob Buckhorn, just moments after learning he had beat out front runner Dick Greco in last night's election, summed up what turned out to be a surprising upset. Buckhorn celebrated his victory last night at JJ's Sports Bar in Ybor City. But his victory celebration won't last long. He will need to continue on his campaign trail for the March 22 runoff against Rose Ferlita. Buckhorn defeated Greco by a narrow margin of only 384 votes according to unofficial election results.

Ed Turanchik and Thomas Scott were also defeated in this race. Buckhorn now has his eyes on votes from the supporters of his defeated opponents.

Ferlita won the popular vote last night, but she still has a fight on her hands. There were 984 votes that separated Ferlita and Buckhorn. While that margin gives Ferlita a jump on her opponent, she said she is also prepared to win votes from those whose candidate did not proceed to the runoff.

Ferlita celebrated amongst a crowd of supporters and campaign officials at Timpano Italian Chop House. Se told campaigners to enjoy tonight and get a good night's rest, but reminded them not to throw their yard signs away just yet. She's ready for another stretch of campaign trail but said, "with a less crowded stage, now is the time to get the specifics out there."

Through all the celebrating and looking forward, both candidates remembered to thank the man people they say got them this far. Ferlita emphasized how hard her team worked to promote her vision and commended them on a job well done.

Buckhorn did mostly the same while his wife stood by his side pointing and naming specific people in the crowd. Of all the thanking going around though, Buckhorn called out to the one group that endorsed him throughout the campaign.

Results of the election can be viewed at votehillsborough.org. That site also has information about the candidates as well as instructions on how to apply for an early vote or absentee ballot.

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