Rose Ferlita: Tom Scott will endorse Bob Buckhorn
TAMPA — Tampa City Council chairman Thomas Scott plans to announce his support for former Council member Bob Buckhorn’s campaign for mayor, according to Buckhorn’s rival in the March 22 runoff.
“I know that Tom Scott is going to endorse,” former Hillsborough County Commissioner Rose Ferlita said in a voice mail message to a St. Petersburg Times reporter. “I spoke with him. He’s going to endorse Bob.”
Buckhorn’s campaign dropped a big hint Friday that Ferlita is correct.
The campaign sent out a news release saying Buckhorn will have a major announcement in East Tampa Saturday featuring “respected leaders” who support Buckhorn.
Scott declined to comment Friday night — even after a reporter told him that the Buckhorn announcement was attached to an e-mail as a Microsoft Word document, and the document was titled “TomScott.docx.”
“Is that right?” Scott said, laughing heartily. “Hey. I have no comments at this time. Oh man.”
Scott finished fifth in Tuesday’s mayoral election with 8.6 percent of the vote, but he ran strongly in the largely black precincts of East Tampa. In more than a half-dozen of those precincts, Buckhorn ran a close second. Since the election, Scott has met with both Ferlita and Buckhorn, who won 25.9 and 23.5 percent, respectively.
Former Tampa Mayor Dick Greco, who finished third with 22.6 percent, has said he does not plan to support either candidate in the runoff, but hopes voters listen to both carefully, turn out to vote and then come together to support whoever wins.
Greco said he has yet to decide who he will vote for in the runoff.
“My thoughts are that they’re both good people, both friends,” Greco said. “I’m going to watch as if I was just a regular voter, which I am at this point.”
Former County Commissioner Ed Turanchik, who finished fourth with 19.4 percent, said he and Buckhorn talked over appetizers at The Bungalow in South Tampa Thursday night. He said he plans to meet with Ferlita over the weekend and to announce an endorsement on Monday.
“I think I’m obliged to express an opinion, and I will back up my opinion by actively campaigning for the person I endorse,” Turanchik said.
Turanchik said he wants to hear each candidate talk in depth about what he or she would do as mayor.
“I’m not particularly interested in hearing what I’ve already heard,” Turanchik said, adding that he built his campaign on details. “Generalities don’t cut it with me.”