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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Updated: Kevin Beckner campaign now hiring



**Update: Kates sent word via Facebook that he's working in a parliamentary election.

Democrat Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner is looking for a new campaign manager for his reelection bid, but says it's no big thing.

His campaign manager from his first go-around in 2008, Mitch Kates, has left the country to work on what he describes as a parliamentary election in the former Soviet nation of Georgia. He left a week ago. (Funny aside: Kates posted on his Facebook page that one of the first bits of graffiti he saw after arriving in Tbilisi, that nation's capital, said "Eminem.")

Anyway, Beckner said he and Kates had already sketched out an election campaign plan before Kates left. Beckner is facing challenges from two active Republicans candidates, Steve Cona and Margaret Iuculano. He's in the process of interviewing people to replace Kates.

"It means very little in terms of the strategy and direction our campaign will be going," Beckner said. "We have already laid the groundwork. We have a good grassroots structure and network in place."

[Last modified: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 2:40pm]


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