Saul-Sena dumps Kates because of Amendment 4
Hillsborough County Commission candidate Linda Saul-Sena has given campaign consultant Mitch Kates the boot. Her reason? He accepted a gig as campaign manager for the Amendment 4 supporters, she said. Saul-Sena, a Democrat, is a staunch opponent of the measure, which would put all local comprehensive plan changes before voters in a referendum. She said she was bothered not only that Kates decided to work for the Amendment 4 campaign, but also because he didn't tell her about the decision. "He knew that I personally don't support this," Saul-Sena said. "I don't think this proposal is the best way to address the frustration with bad planning and growth management decisions. There are better ways to do it. For example electing better people." Saul-Sena said her dismissal of Kates had nothing to do with the legal issues she's now facing after missing a deadline to file her resign-to-run paperwork. She said if she blamed him for that, she would have fired him earlier in the summer.
Saul-Sena, a former Tampa City Council member, is running for the at-large District 5 commission seat against Republican Ken Hagan and Jim Hosler, who is running with no party affiliation. Kates is a veteran campaign consultant, who has helped orchestrate wins for Mary Mulhern, Charlie Justice and Kevin Beckner. Regarding his falling out with Saul-Sena, Kates declined to comment other than to say: "Linda is an awesome candidate and I hope she wins. It's a very important race for Hillsborough County."
Janet Zink, Times Staff Writer