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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Hillsborough Commissioner Kevin White packs the house for campaign kick-off



Never mind the elections law violations and guilty verdict in a sexual discrimination lawsuit. Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin White drew more than 200 enthusiastic supporters to the kick-off of his re-election campaign on Wednesday. Among those at the event: Campaign consultant Vic DiMaio; community activist Michelle Patty; La Gaceta publisher Patrick Manteiga; attorney Vin Marchetti; and leaders from the city of Tampa general employees union and Hillsborough firefighters union.

In his campaign speech, White did not shy away from the negative headlines. “I believe everyone in this room knows some of the controversy that I’ve been involved in and have been able to see through the minutiae and continued to support me,” he said. When thanking his wife, Jenny, for her support, he said: “We have had many sleepless nights waiting for the newspaper to go online at 12 o’clock."

White also highlighted a few issues. He expressed his support for a referendum on a sales tax to pay for transportation improvements, including rail; reminded supporters of his refusal to back a “tent city” for homeless people in the eastern part of the county because nearby residents opposed it; and touted the work he and his staff did to find funding for a community center in Progress Village.

Frank Reddick, now a candidate for the Tampa City Council District 5 seat that White once held, said that White has helped people in East Tampa resolve zoning issues with a community center, and pressed county officials to address flooding in Progress Village. “He’s done a wonderful job,” Reddick said. “He’s demonstrated tonight he still has the support of the community.”

Janet Zink, Times staff writer

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 12:25pm]


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