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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Tampa mayoral candidates to meet in TV debate Tuesday night



TAMPA — This mayor's race has yet to offer voters a political forum as high-profile as the one tonight at Blake High School.

Ninety minutes of live television, in prime time.

Sponsored by the St. Petersburg Times and Bay News 9, "A Conversation with the Candidates" features the five people vying to replace Mayor Pam Iorio in the March 1 election: Bob Buckhorn, Rose Ferlita, Dick Greco, Thomas Scott and Ed Turanchik.

Considering that low turnout could make every vote count, one political consultant said this may be an occasion for a strategy known as "go big or go home."

"There are so few opportunities that you have to make the most out of what you have," said Mitch Kates, who isn't working with any of the mayoral campaigns. "If they want to make the runoff, they're going to have to separate themselves or take a position or two that's going to raise a few people's eyebrows."

Their eyebrows presumably under control, Times political editor Adam Smith and senior anchor Al Ruechel will moderate the event, which runs from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Bay News 9. Seating is free to the public, but is limited and will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Those wanting to attend should call (813) 225-3109.


[Last modified: Tuesday, February 8, 2011 1:30pm]


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