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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rock Beats Rubber ...



Chicken, that is.

Rod Smith skipped the Alachua County DEC dinner Thursday night, apparently joining 10,000 others at the Tom Petty concert at the University of Florida. Smith said earlier he was leaning toward the dinner, where Jim Davis' running mate Daryl Jones spoke to 550 people, but this was not your ordinary rock show. Petty and a few of his Heartbreakers are from Gainesville.

Jon Reiskind, head of the DEC, said he was disappointed. "Rod's got a lot of support here but we have to pull together if we have a chance in November. We were very supportive of Rod, but we're even more supportive of the Democratic Party." Reiskind noted Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan managed to make both events, but said a candidate for sheriff, who is related to Petty, also skipped the dinner.

"Frankly I don't think people are too concerned about it," said another DEC member, Ron Bern. "People understand just from a human point of view that you have to step away for a while."

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 12:47pm]


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