Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Effort to get Hillsborough mayor on November's ballot falters

TAMPA — The leader of an effort to create an elected Hillsborough County mayor acknowledged Tuesday it will take a miracle to get the question on this year's ballot.

"But I believe in miracles," said Mary Ann Stiles, refusing to acknowledge defeat.

Stiles and the group Elected County Mayor Political Committee Inc. had four months to collect roughly 41,000 petition signatures from registered voters to get the question on the November ballot. With the deadline looming Friday, Stiles said the group has managed to collect just 12,500.

She said she doesn't know how many petitions volunteers may have collected but not turned in to her.

Her refusal to cry uncle may reflect a desire to continue collecting donations to the cause to offset what she has spent paying professional signature gatherers.

Stiles has tried through three election cycles to get the question on the ballot, arguing that the current commission and appointed administrator form of government is outdated.

She has argued the need for a single elected official, accountable to the public, who can set an agenda on important issues such as improving the county's transportation system.

She and her family have spent tens of thousands of dollars, largely to pay people to collect signatures, but have failed to attract broader financial support for the undertaking.

The first drive was thwarted when it came a few signatures short of the number needed to make it on the ballot, though Stiles said a botched count by then-elections supervisor Buddy Johnson was to blame.

A citizen successfully challenged the ballot language on the second try.

With the economy ailing, raising money to collect signatures this go around proved particularly difficult.

"I will be back," Stiles said. "I'm not going away."

Bill Varian can be reached at (813) 226-3387 or varian@sptimes.com.

Effort to get Hillsborough mayor on November's ballot falters 07/27/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 27, 2010 11:19pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Mastermind of lottery rigging scam that netted millions faces 25 years

    Nation

    DES MOINES, Iowa — For a decade, computer programmer Eddie Tipton reliably showed up for work at the central Iowa office of the Multi-State Lottery Association and earned the confidence of his co-workers, a team of technicians entrusted to build computers used to randomly pick numbers for some of the most popular …

    FILE - In this June 29, 2017, file photo, Eddie Tipton, the former Multi-State Lottery Association information security director who admitted to masterminding a scheme to rig lottery games that paid him and others $2 million from seven fixed jackpots in five states, is seen in court in Des Moines, Iowa. Tipton is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday, Aug. 22. (Rodney White/The Des Moines Register via AP, File) IADES501
  2. Pasco County man killed in wrong-way crash on New Jersey Turnpike

    Accidents

    MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. — Authorities say a Florida man driving the wrong way on the New Jersey Turnpike was killed when his SUV crashed head-on into another vehicle.

  3. No bond for suspect in Kissimmee officers' fatal shooting

    Crime

    KISSIMMEE — A suspect in the fatal shooting of two police officers in Florida will be staying in jail after a judge denied him bond Sunday, saying there was probable cause for his first-degree murder charge

    Officers Matthew Baxter, left, and Sam Howard, right, who were both shot and killed in Kissimmee, Florida, on Friday, Aug. 18, 2017. [Kissimmee Police]
  4. Tampa police arrest 22-year-old man in July murder

    Crime

    TAMPA — Police arrested Sunday a 22-year-old man who detectives said shot and killed a Tampa man after an argument.

    Tampa police arrested Dejonta Felder, 22, in the murder of 32-year-old Julius R. Carter. [Tampa Police Department]