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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

After Gallagher Speech: Happy Birthday, Pat Mica!



That's what the crowd sang impromptu Friday night to the wife of U.S. Rep. John Mica, R-Winter Park. But now everyone also knows her husband is a cheapskate, or at least likes to pretend he is. Taking the podium at the Seminole County Lincoln Day Dinner, Mica bragged:

"I upgraded this year. Last year I took her to the St. Johns County Salvation Army Dinner. Tonight, she's with the GOP. Happy Birthday, Pat!...As a true fiscal conservative, look, guys, at all the money I saved."

Mica's surprise came after the keynote speech by Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, who delivered a red-meat Republican, but tempered, 18-minute speech praising Gov. Jeb Bush, Florida's economy and mapping out his policy proposals as a gubernatorial candidate. While he made references that this election "was about fighting for the heart and soul of the Republican party," he only obliquely referenced his primary opponent, Attorney General Charlie Crist.

He urged the crowd to make sure it doesn't elect leaders who "take more positions on issues than on a football team." And he won his strongest reaction for his statements that amensty proposals can wait until after the borders are secure; that he doesn't want liberal judges in Massachusetts defining what marriage is; and that he wants to take down adult billboards.

"Let's be sure we win this November," he said.

Crist had originally also been scheduled to address the crowd but cancelled to campaign with John McCain.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 3:13pm]


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