Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Mayor Pam's pretenders party like it's 2011

Disclaimer: Practically none of this actually happened. Not yet, anyway.

Hey, all you political-psuedo-celebrity watchers! By now you may have heard about a recent, exclusive party with a guest list made up of those who hope to replace Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio.

Okay, maybe not so exclusive. Along with those who have made intentions clear were the rumored-to-be-running, the running-for-something-but-who-knows-what, the not-running-even-if-we-wish-they-would and the-really-hoping-someone-will-start-a-rumor-that-they're-running. (Look for their names in BOLD, party-watchers!)

What's that?

You say it's a tad early for a 2011 race?

Please. Some of these people have been politicking since Pam was in pigtails.

At the fete, Madam Mayor herself was there and stylish in a trademark Practical Pam Suit, glancing at her watch so she'd be on time for her next big gig.

"Anyone seen Jim Davis?" she asked, a.k.a. the former U.S. rep who ran unsuccessfully for gov. Alas, no one had.

Resplendent in plaid golf pants and a 100-watt smile was Bob Buckhorn, former City Council member whose hopeful mayoral heart Iorio broke into a million pieces back in '03. Waggish fellow partygoers were having a bit of fun with a nod to one of his best-remembered issues involving nude dancers and their legal distance from customers: Everyone at the party kept 6 feet away from him. High jinks!

City Council member Linda Saul-Sena arrived, brow delicately furrowed. "But why," she asked of the room at large, "didn't everyone drive here in a Prius?"

Out on the balcony, County Commissioner Rose Ferlita was in a spirited arm-wrestling match with rivals Jim Norman and Ken Hagan — and beating each of them handily, judging by the cheers of the crowd. (Even some politicians not running for mayor were invited, out of politeness.) Commissioner Mark Sharpe looked on, anxious. Newbie Kevin Beckner watched closely and took notes.

City Council member John Dingfelder arrived. Fellow member Tom Scott politely asked the mayor when she was leaving.

Charlie Miranda stopped by, but just for a second. He and Ed Turanchik rode over together from West Tampa, since there was no decent public transit or rail to take.

Later, things got rocking with Ferlita and Buckhorn in a fierce arm-wrestle, and with a whiff of party scandal: No one could find Mayor Pam.

A few funsters started prank-calling state Sen. Ronda Storms ("Hey, on that Darwinism thing — you win! I evolved — you, not so much!") They tried to wake up former mayor Dick Greco, too, but — Surprise! Here came Greco himself through the door, ginger-haired, 75, and wearing a Greco-for-Mayor button he said was from the '60s.

Well. You can bet that particular fashion accessory got more tongues wagging than J.Lo's decolletage.

The night got so crazy somebody swore he spotted former USF prez and education comish Betty Castor — the kind of wild talk that signals a great party. Finally, they found the mayor in a darkened back room, checking the Weather Channel for Washington, D.C.

Sigh. No scandal there. But don't worry, funsters. The party will still be going on — for, oh, about two more years.

Mayor Pam's pretenders party like it's 2011 02/20/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 24, 2009 3:35pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Kevin Kiermaier: Return to action Thursday 'didn't set the world on fire'

    The Heater

    Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier's return from the hip injury that sidelined him since June 8 could have gone better Thursday in Port Charlotte. He broke two bats and went hitless in two at bats while playing for the Class A Charlotte Stone Crabs.

    Kevin Kiermaier takes cuts in the cage during batting practice before the game between the Rays and Texas Rangers Saturday at Tropicana Field. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  2. U.S. economy gathers steam in second quarter


    WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy revved up this spring after a weak start to the year, fueled by strong consumer spending. But the growth spurt still fell short of the optimistic goals President Donald Trump hopes to achieve through tax cuts and regulatory relief.

    A government report released Friday showed economic output picked up in the second quarter. 
[Associated Press file photo]
  3. What you need to know about Bucs training camp


    Bucs training camp is here.

    This morning was the first of 13 practices that are free and open to the general public, so we have all the details to answer your questions about where and when and so on.

    Dirk Koetter is nothing if not precise, with practices starting at 8:45 a.m. and running until 10:27. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  4. Fennelly: It's high time for Bucs to take Tampa Bay back


    TAMPA — Welcome to the proving ground.

    Bucs training camp begins today.

    Hard Knocks and flop sweat.

    Work and more work.

    "We have a lot to prove,'' wide receiver Mike Evans (13) says. "We're good on paper, but we've got to do it." [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  5. Old dog's lucky day: Video shows firefighters rescuing 12-year-old Shar-Pei mix from bay


    MIAMI BEACH — Junior spent Thursday night lounging on a pillow, too tired to move.

    Jose Ruiz takes a selfie with his dog named Junior after Junior was rescued from Biscayne Bay. [Photo courtesy of Jose Ruiz via Miami Herald]