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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Politicos question Scott meeting with Tarpon Springs mayor



After Gov. Rick Scott's schedule went out by email Wednesday, Tarpon Springs Mayor David Archie's phone blew up with calls.

Archie's name was right there on the governor's schedule after an event at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg.

For reporters who see the governor's schedule every day, the so-called "meet and greet" with the mayor of bitty Tarpon Springs was unusual enough to beg the question: Is the governor vetting Archie as a possible luitenant governor?

"Not to my knowledge," Archie said after the Clearwater meeting. "We didn't discuss anything earth-shattering."

Archie lacks widespread name recognition outside of Tarpon Springs. But he is also an African-American Republican from an area of the state that has a track record for deciding statewide elections. He could bring diversity to the ticket and is enormously well-liked in Tarpon, where he leads non-profit Citizens Alliance for Progress and has served on the commission for 13 years.

Tarpon Springs staff members were also curious about Archie's meeting. The Governors Office called City Hall Tuesday and requested the get-together without saying why, City Manager Mark LeCouris said.

"We're all wondering what this is about," he said Wednesday morning.

In the end, Archie said, not much happened.

He and Scott had a friendly conversation that involved flood insurance hikes, among other things.

He characterized it as, "not a bad way to spend an afternoon."


[Last modified: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 6:01pm]


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