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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Paul Congemi offers his views after St. Pete Pride event

22

June

ST. PETERSBURG -- Candidate Paul Congemi wasn't invited to St. Pete Pride's mayoral forum Monday night.

The advocate for the homeless attended anyway. Organizers decided to let him, and fellow candidate Alex Haak, make a three-minute opening statement, but they were not allowed to answer individual questions.

Organizers said the invites went out weeks ago, and at the time the men had neither officially qualified nor raised any money for the race. Candidate Richard Eldridge, who recently joined the race, also wasn't invited.

After the debate, Congemi stuck around to give his views on some of the questions asked.

Congemi, 52, said he's the only one in the race dedicated to eradicating homelessness, poverty and corruption in the city. He pledged to hold benefits to raise money to build housing for the homeless and a charity hospital that would treat people who don't have health insurance.

His answers to some of the questions asked Monday night:

Would he, as mayor, support St. Pete Pride or sign the City Council's proclamation declaring St. Pete Pride month? No to both.

What about youth boredom or bullying? "I'm a black belt in karate. Anyone who gets bullied should study karate. Nobody will pick on you then."

What about mass transit? The city needs bus service that runs 24 hours a day.

Heather Urquides, Times staff writer

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[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:56am]

    

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