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Is Pam Bondi warming up for the campaign trail?

She's not an official candidate for state attorney general, but Pam Bondi gave a sense of what she might be like on the campaign trail at a recent meeting of the Tampa Bay Young Republicans. She spoke to about 20 people, including state House candidates Irene Guy and Rich Reidy.

Bondi arrived at the meeting after the sentencing of Jordan Valdez, the Davis Islands teen who drove off after hitting a homeless woman, who died. Bondi talked about her tenure in the State Attorney's Office, saying she's had job offers that would have paid more but she felt the call to public service. Her job, she said, is not about locking people up, but justice.

"You make very, very tough decisions every day," she said, noting those decisions have to be based on what is right, not politics. "We need more of that in government today."

Bondi said the group invited her to speak, and it was the first time a political organization had extended the offer to her. But lately, those offers have been coming fast and furious.

• • •

Tampa police Chief Jane Castor will be the special guest at the Hillsborough County GLBTA Democratic Caucus meeting on Dec. 9 at Perkins Restaurant, 612 N Dale Mabry Highway.

When Mayor Pam Iorio tapped Castor to lead the Police Department in September, she became the city's first female — and gay — police chief.

"She represents our community and she shows what our community can do," said Marilyn Cappiello, vice president of the GLBTA Democratic caucus. "But we also admire her because she is a woman in a traditionally male-held position."

The meeting starts at 7 p.m., and Castor is expected to stop by shortly after 8.

Castor was featured in a recent issue of Watermark, a Florida publication geared to the gay community, and talked about raising her two children with her former partner.

"My kids don't really see having two moms as any different than their friends who have a mom and a dad," she told the magazine. "The big adjustment for them has been when people recognize me or stop to talk to me in a Publix. Now they're to the point where they just say, 'Mom, we'll be over in the toys; find us when you're done talking.' "

• • •

Republican congressional candidate Eddie Adams Jr. recently earned an appointment to the Hillsborough County Hospital Authority and has quickly asserted himself.

As a member of the authority, which oversees Tampa General Hospital, he's been asking questions about the hiring of minority contractors. Leadership at the previously public hospital has faced criticism through the years of having a weak record of awarding contracts to black-owned firms.

Adams presented his questions in writing at the authority's quarterly meeting last week. It appeared on his congressional campaign stationery, which raised the eyebrows of a few board members.

Asking about the appropriateness of campaigning during a meeting of a governmental agency on which he serves, Adams said it was the only stationery he had available. He said it wouldn't happen again. As an aside: Adams' campaign stationery makes no mention of his GOP affiliation. He is making his third bid for the Democrat-leaning 11th Congressional District, a seat held by Kathy Castor, who handily defeated Adams in the last two elections.

Staff writers Janet Zink and Bill Varian contributed to this report.

Is Pam Bondi warming up for the campaign trail? 11/30/09 [Last modified: Monday, November 30, 2009 8:57pm]
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