Tampa Democrats celebrate Obama victory

11/07/12 Janelle Irwin
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Hillsborough County Democrats celebrated President Barack Obama’s reelection at the Museum of Science and Industry last night. The evening started quietly with a bit of cautious optimism. But after Iowa and Ohio were called for Obama putting him over the necessary 270 electoral votes to win the election, more than 1,000 supporters burst into uncontrollable cheers.

It took a good two minutes for the crowd to stop screaming, but even then Obama supporters were hugging complete strangers, crying and jumping up and down on chairs.

"Delighted. Magnificent, it's magnificent. I'm so relieved. I've been feeling sick all day and now I can say, 'oh, I'm great. I'm feeling awesome."

About 20 minutes after Obama’s victory was announced, people stepped into a hallway to make phone calls and order celebratory drinks. Mack Frank, a volunteer with the Obama campaign nearly spilled his as he described what it means to have all the hard work pay off.

"When I think about the effort put forth. All the hard work and all the different people. Different representatives of the different ethnic groups in this country. The brawling part? All came together with a super effort to put the president back in."

But across town at the Republican Party of Florida election night reception the mood wasn’t so upbeat. Tampa resident Mary, who didn’t give her last name, sobbed after Obama was announced as the winner.

"I'm just shocked. I thought Ohio would have gone for Romney. It's just a disappointment. I don't know, it's just the economy is not going great. We'll see what happens. I'm not happy."

And Zachary Winters, a Stetson Law student who held a shirt that said ‘I'd rather shower at Penn State than vote for Obama’ said he just hopes Obama won’t screw up the economy too much more over the next four years.

"Please don't spend another $7 trillion in the next four years and hopefully we can pull ourselves out of this economy after your out of office. Please just don't do anything that taxes us more than we're already taxed."

Since before the Republican National Convention in August there has been a White Mitt Romney flag along the side of Interstate 275 near Lois Avenue in Tampa. This morning that flag was at half staff.

In other election news, independent candidates for president did not fare well in the swing state of Florida. But several of them did much better in the Tampa Bay area than they did anywhere else in the state. For example, more people voted for Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson in Hillsborough than in any other Florida county. Similarly Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein had more votes in Pinellas and Hillsborough than in any other county. And more voters picked Roseanne Barr in Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco than elsewhere in the state.

Jill Stein will be the guest on Lisa Marzilli's Last Call program at 5:30 p.m. on Friday November 9.

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