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Ferlita: Scott to endorse Buckhorn for Tampa mayor

TAMPA — Tampa City Council Chairman Thomas Scott plans to announce his support for Bob Buckhorn's campaign for mayor, according to Buckhorn's rival in the March 22 runoff.

"I know that Tom Scott is going to endorse. I spoke with him. He's going to endorse Bob," Rose Ferlita said in a voice mail message to a St. Petersburg Times reporter.

Buckhorn's campaign dropped a big hint Friday that Ferlita is correct.

The campaign sent a news release saying Buckhorn will have a major announcement Saturday in east Tampa featuring "respected leaders" who support Buckhorn.

Scott declined to comment Friday night, even after a reporter told him the Buckhorn announcement was attached to an e-mail as a Microsoft Word document, and the document was titled "TomScott.docx."

"Is that right?" Scott said, laughing heartily. "Hey, I have no comments at this time. Oh, man."

Scott finished fifth in Tuesday's mayoral election with 8.6 percent of the vote, but he ran strongly in the largely black precincts of East Tampa. Buckhorn, a former City Council member, ran a close second in more than a half-dozen of those precincts. Since the election, Scott has met with Ferlita and Buckhorn, who finished with 25.9 and 23.5 percent, respectively.

Former Tampa Mayor Dick Greco, who finished third with 22.6 percent, has said he does not plan to support either candidate in the runoff but hopes voters listen to both carefully, turn out to vote and then come together to support whoever wins.

Greco said he has yet to decide whom he will vote for.

"My thoughts are that they're both good people, both friends," Greco said. "I'm going to watch as if I was just a regular voter, which I am at this point."

Former County Commissioner Ed Turanchik, who finished fourth with 19.4 percent, said he and Buckhorn talked over appetizers Thursday night at the Bungalow in South Tampa. He said he plans to meet with Ferlita, a former Hillsborough County commissioner, during the weekend and to announce an endorsement Monday.

"I think I'm obliged to express an opinion, and I will back up my opinion by actively campaigning for the person I endorse," Turanchik said.

Turanchik said he wants to hear each candidate talk in depth about what he or she would do as mayor.

"I'm not particularly interested in hearing what I've already heard," Turanchik said, adding that he built his campaign on details. "Generalities don't cut it with me."

Richard Danielson can be reached at danielson@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3403.

Ferlita: Scott to endorse Buckhorn for Tampa mayor 03/04/11 [Last modified: Friday, March 4, 2011 11:19pm]
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