Alliance backs Rustmann, firefighters back Dingfelder
Trey Rustmann, a Republican candidate for the District 1 Hillsborough County Commission seat, today announced his campaign had received a $500 check from Alliance for Florida. The committee of continuous existence is is headed by developer Don Phillips, and its board includes developer Bing Kearney, real estate investor Hoe Brown and Steve Swindal, chairman of Marine Towing of Tampa. The Alliance has also contributed to the campaign of Valerie Goddard, a Democrat challenging fellow Dems Kevin White and Les Miller for the District 3 County Commission seat. "We're not partisan. We just want good leadership," Phillips said, adding that's not something he sees with the current county commission. "There are so many self-inflicted gunshot wounds that we're not focused on the issues at hand." Last year, the Alliance backed Scott Wagman in the St. Petersburg mayoral primary, and Bill Foster in the final election. The Alliance also contributed to the campaigns of St. Pete city council candidates Angela Rouson and Karl Nurse.
Rustmann will face Margaret Iuculano in the Republican primary for the county commission seat likely to be vacated by Rose Ferlita, who has said she plans to run for mayor of Tampa. John Dingfelder, a Tampa City Council member, is the only Democrat in that race. He said his campaign recieved a check last week from the Hillsborough County firefighters union, a real coup given that the Tampa police union has pledged to fight election of any city council members who voted against a pay raise for them last year. True to their promise, they protested at the campaign kick-off of city council member Linda Saul-Sena, who is runing for the District 5 county commission seat.
Janet Zink, Times Staff Writer