Bay Buzz

The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Democrats see hope for winning District 60 House seat from Republicans

15

September

Speaking at an East Hillsborough Democratic Club meeting Tuesday, District 60 state House candidate Russell Patterson said the state party is sinking some resources into his effort to beat Republican Shawn Harrison in November, assigning a full-time field worker to his campaign. Patterson said he got the help after a poll conducted by the party determined that even though Harrison is ahead by about 5 points, 40 percent of voters remain undecided. Although the poll showed Harrison had greater name recognition, Patterson said he's a contender because 42 percent of registered voters in the district are Democrat and only 34 percent are Republican. Still, Republican Ed Homan held the post for eight years before term limits forced him out. Before that, Democrat Sara Romeo represented the district. Asked what he thinks about the party interest in the race, Harrison dismissed party politics. "Party bickering is what got us into the mess we are in. As a successful small businessman, I know what it takes to create quality jobs, and it’s not more tired government programs and higher taxes. I am confident that the people of District 60 agree that a proven job creator with a track record of working across the aisle with my colleagues to get things done are more important qualities than party labels," he said.

James Wheeler, a field organizer for the Campaign for Accountability, also briefed the east county group on the efforts to get Democrats elected, and he dropped this gem: "A working person voting Republican is like a chicken voting for Col. Sanders."

Janet Zink, Times staff writer

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[Last modified: Thursday, September 16, 2010 3:42pm]

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