All seven Tampa City Council members endorse Hillary Clinton
All seven members of the Tampa City Council are endorsing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's presidential candidacy, according to the campaign.
The council members, all Democrats, made the endorsements individually — not as a group or in a meeting.
Four council members reached Friday morning said there was no discussion of the Clinton endorsements outside their meetings. That said, it's not uncommon for them to talk politics because it's a topic they won't be voting on as a body and thus is not subject to Florida's Government-in-the-Sunshine Law.
"This (election) cycle is like nothing that's ever happened before," said council member Harry Cohen, who said he talks a lot with council chairman Frank Reddick about Republican frontrunner Donald Trump.
In interviews and statements released through the campaign, council members cited Clinton's experience as a key reason for their support.
"Her peformance, particularly in the debates and overall on the campaign trail, has been tremendous," said Cohen, who has worked and raised money for Clinton's campaign and went to her Super Tuesday campaign party in Miami. "I think her command of the issues and her experience place her head and shoulders above every other candidate in both parities."
Guido Maniscalco, at 31 the lone millennial on the council, said he admires both Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, but he likes the job Bill Clinton did as president and "as senator, as former First Lady and as secretary of state, I find her to be very qualified."
"Hillary is the candidate who can do all parts of the job of president — raising incomes for the middle class and keeping our communities safe as commander-in-chief," Reddick said in a statement released through the campaign. "She has a lifetime of experience fighting to break down the barriers that hold too many people back. Tampa families know she's the one who'll fight for them."
"Secretary Clinton has shown, both in her prior career in the Senate and as secretary of state, an innate ability to get things done," council member Mike Suarez said in a similar statement. "Whether working with Republican colleagues in the Senate or dealing with world leaders, she has shown an intelligence, tenacity and purposefulness that reflects our values and is a credit to our country. As president I expect those same qualities to be on display."
"I am proud to support Hillary Rodham Clinton," council member Lisa Montelione said. "It is imperative that we have a proven leader who has solid plans to address some of our most pressing issues. Ms. Clinton has been in the trenches and has never wavered in her belief that America is a place where discrimination is not tolerated, where all of us deserve a quality education system, affordable healthcare and a living wage."
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn has already endorsed Clinton and walked neighborhoods for her before the New Hampshire primary. Like Tampa, the city council in Columbus, Ohio also has seen all of its members support Clinton's candidacy.