Kornell says victory shows trust
Steve Kornell retained his City Council seat Tuesday, beating challenger Philip Garrett, by a 56-44 percent margin.
Less than 3,000 votes out of 25,717 ballots cast decided the outcome.
Some political observers noted that a 12-point win against an under-funded, largely unknown candidate wasn't a political slam dunk.
Kornell had a different take.
"I won big yesterday and I think that shows some trust and I'm going to honor that trust," Kornell said Wednesday.
The Tampa Bay Times endorsed Garrett on the basis of his support for a deal to resolve the standoff between the city and the Tampa Bay Rays.
Kornell said his position remains unchanged: he's open to discussion on the Rays issue. But he said criticism of his opposition to previous deals between Mayor Rick Kriseman and the Rays by the Times and others wasn't going to change his mind.
"I’m open for discussion. It doesn’t mean I'm going to vote for something. And calling me 100 different names doesn’t make me change my mind, that’s not helpful to the discussion," Kornell said. "If people try to bully me, call me a bunch of names, I’m not all of a sudden going to do that."
Kornell had plenty of endorsements and raised more than $51,202 in donations, dwarfing Garrett who raised $1,582.
But a win is a win. And Kornell said he's eager to get started on a new four-year term.
"It's not a one-issue list for me," Kornell said. "I have a lot of issues and I'm going to work on all of them."