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Ed Turanchik endorses Bob Buckhorn in Tampa mayor's race



TAMPA — Saying that Bob Buckhorn “has a strong and clear platform for our city,” Ed Turanchik on Monday endorsed his former rival in the runoff of the Tampa mayor’s race.

“I am fully convinced that Bob is ready to go work on day one to move our city forward,” said Turanchik, who said that Buckhorn’s campaign is “grounded in solid public policies.”

Turanchik, a former Hillsborough County commissioner who finished fourth in the mayor’s race on March 1, met with both Buckhorn and former County Commissioner Rose Ferlita before making his decision.

Turanchik said he is impressed with Ferlita’s warmth, sincerity and commitment to Tampa, but “Rose’s platform remains unfocused, her agenda and priorities relatively unshaped.”

“I have not seen Rose put forward a clear and compelling vision for our future, one that can drive our priorities, efforts and resources,” Turanchik said during a campaign event at The Independent Bar and Cafe in Seminole Heights.

Turanchik said he asked both candidates how they would run their administrations, how they would spend their time, what their priorities were, what they wanted to achieve in their first 100 days and how they would measure their progress in key areas such as jobs, transportation and the economy.

A longtime transportation advocate, Turanchik said he also questioned both “on their commitment to a refreshed transportation initiative” and how they would move forward on the issue.

Buckhorn’s “transportation policy is more consistent with my own regional approach,” Turanchik said.

Meanwhile, Hillsborough State Attorney Mark Ober, a Ferlita supporter, made recorded calls to voters Monday morning inviting them to participate in a telephonic town hall meeting that he will moderate for Ferlita at 6:30 p.m.

On Saturday, Tampa City Council chairman Thomas Scott endorsed Buckhorn. Former Mayor Dick Greco says he will not take sides in the runoff.

Ferlita and Buckhorn made the runoff by capturing 25.9 and 23.5 percent of the vote, respectively, in the March 1 election. Greco had 22.6 percent, Turanchik 19.4 percent and Scott 8.6 percent.

On Tuesday night, Buckhorn and Ferlita will meet in a live, televised debate sponsored by the St. Petersburg Times and Bay News 9.

The hour-long conversation with the candidates begins at 7 p.m. at Blake High School for the Arts, 1701 North Boulevard in Tampa. Moderators are Bay News 9 senior anchor Al Ruechel and Times political editor Adam Smith.

The forum will be broadcast live on Bay News 9 and will be available on Bay News 9 On Demand, Channel 342 on Bright House after the event.

The event is free and open to the public, and audience seating is limited. To inquire about reserving seats, call (813) 225-3109.

The Tampa runoff election is March 22.

[Last modified: Monday, March 7, 2011 1:04pm]


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