Meek speaks from D.C. to Hillsborough Dems
About 350 people turned out Friday night for the Hillsborough County Democratic Black Caucus "Living the Dream" gala, where U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek was the keynote speaker. Meek, a U.S. Senate candidate, addressed the crowd via Skype from D.C. He chose not to travel to Tampa for the event because he wanted to be in Washington on Saturday to vote on the health care reform bill.
"This is a very historic vote," he said, and gave credit to activists in Hillsborough County -- and U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor -- for pushing for the health care legislation. Meek also drew parallels between Barack Obama and Martin Luther King Jr. "Voters in Florida, voters in Hillsborough County, decided to the let the country's first African-American president, Barack Obama, lead us through these difficult times, and I think you should give yourselves a round of applause for that," he said.
Elected officials at the fundraising dinner included state Sen. Arthenia Joyner, state Rep. Betty Reed, Clerk of the Circuit Court Pat Frank, county Commissioner Kevin Beckner, Tampa City Council chairman Tom Scott, Tampa City Council member Gwen Miller, and Miller's husband, Les, who's running for Hillsborough County Commission.
Also there: Florida Attorney General candidates Dan Gelber and Dave Aronberg, who have been spending a huge amount of time in the Tampa Bay area. "It's politics 101 that campaigns are won and lost on the I-4 corridor," Aronberg said. "I've spent so much time in the Tampa Bay area I'm starting to get mail here."
Janet Zink, Times Staff Writer