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The next mayor of Tampa?

"I might run for mayor," says Bubba the Love Sponge Clem.

Getty Images | 2008

"I might run for mayor," says Bubba the Love Sponge Clem.



Drop his effort to save the old Jackson Rooming House?

Yes, Bubba the Love Sponge Clem says.

Drop his mostly one-sided, good-for-a-headline feud with Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn?

Not a chance.

"I will be a thorn in his side until he runs for re-election," Clem said Thursday during his morning show on 102.5 FM. "Oddly enough, I did check last night. If I move to Tampa by April, I can run for mayor next year, which I may just do. 'Cause I'd love to get in some debates with him, just to be honest with you. I might run for mayor."

Clem has vowed to "make it my mission to destroy" Buckhorn since November 2012.

That's when, at the height of the media uproar over Jill Kelley’s connection to the scandal that led to the resignation of CIA director David Petraeus, an email emerged in which Buckhorn told Kelley, “this Bubba the Love Sponge is a complete moron.” The remark referred to Clem’s plan in early 2012 to “deep fat fry” the Koran as a response to Muslims who were outraged that American troops in Afghanistan had burned Korans. Clem’s Koran-frying never took place, though he railed against Buckhorn after the email became public.

Buckhorn's first term runs through March 2015. On Thursday, he did not respond to a request for comment and his spokeswoman said he had better things to do than get involved in a publicity stunt.

Last month, Buckhorn said he probably will begin to take steps this spring to run for re-election.

“I’m assuming that I’m going to have opposition and am going to plan accordingly and will prepare accordingly,” he said.

If he does challenge Buckhorn, it won't be Clem's first political campaign. He ran for Pinellas County sheriff as a Democrat in 2004, losing to Republican Jim Coats by a 3-to-1 ratio.


[Last modified: Thursday, January 16, 2014 3:09pm]


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