Mayoral candidate Deveron Gibbons gets aggressive
ST. PETERSBURG -- Mayoral contender Deveron Gibbons has mostly shied away from taking shots at other candidates.
But he didn't hold back during Thursday night's mayoral forum at the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum.
Gibbons said other candidates who have held elected office were only looking for their next race. He also said that unlike some people, he wasn't running because the real estate market had soured. Mayoral hopeful Scott Wagman is a real estate investor.
He then targeted Kathleen Ford, Bill Foster, Larry Williams and Jamie Bennett, who have all served on City Council: "If they were really getting things accomplished … would there be the crime issue we are having in our city right now?"
As for his own experience, Gibbons said he ran a multibillion dollar company. He then followed up at a later point during the forum and said that he helped run the company. Gibbons is vice president of public affairs at Amscot Financial in Tampa.
But Friday, Gibbons denied ever saying he ran Amscot. "I said I help to run. I help by running a portion of the company everyday," he said.
He also said that it was inaccurate to describe his jabs as, well, jabs.
"I never took a swipe at anybody. I'm simply trying to differentiate myself from everybody. If you say I took a swipe at someone, that's you, not me," he said, adding, "The citizens want to know what are the differences between the folks running for office."
UPDATE (Monday): Gibbons insisted once more that he never said he ran Amscot and that he had a recording of the event to support that.
So, to refresh Gibbons' memory, here is a video of him saying, "I run a $6.5 billion corporation every day."
You can then hear some people in the crowd ask, "What?"
Cristina Silva, Times staff writer