Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Ronda Storms bested in Brandon? Has the world gone mad?

Now this is interesting.

The Hillsborough Republican Party recently presented a straw poll done in conjunction with Republican clubs in the suburban enclaves of Brandon and FishHawk.

The results: Marco Rubio was the Republican's Republican for U.S. Senate, and, yeah, you kinda saw that coming. Bill McCollum was their guy for governor, and ditto that.

But what was this?

A Republican named Paul Phillips besting the famously fire-and-brimstone Ronda Storms in her bid to keep her state Senate seat?

Storms, topped 158 to 112 on her own east county turf, a.k.a. Rondaland? Conservative, forget-separation-of-church-and-state Storms, a darling of last year's Brandon tea party event?

Okay, yes. Polls like this are preliminary, unscientific, unpredictable, malleable, skewed, screwy, all of the above.

This one, held earlier this month and called a "fun raiser," was attended by about 350 people. A majority paid $5 to vote and could buy as many votes as they wanted. (And, no, you did not hear me say: My, how American.)

So maybe some hater bought a bunch of votes to stick it to Storms, right? Certainly in her years of making headlines for being against gay pride events or even Planned Parenthood, she has not always made friends. Voters weren't asked to show ID, so some disgruntled Democrat could have slunk in and …

But Deborah Cox-Roush, chairwoman of the Hillsborough Republican Party, says she does not believe anyone bought in bulk.

So what gives? I asked around.

"I gotta tell you, it's mystified me," said Republican political consultant Mark Proctor.

"I saw that, too," said University of South Florida political science wonk Susan MacManus, who mentioned "an anti-incumbent mood out there" and called this the year "when I think the unexpected is the norm."

Some speculated about the presence that day of many young Republicans who might throw their votes to Phillips. And Phillips, the lawyer from Valrico taking on Storms? He was surprised, too. And, no, he says, he did not vote.

Patrick Manteiga, publisher of La Gaceta newspaper and writer of the deliciously gossipy political column As We Heard It, had a theory. "I believe that Rondaland was happy when Ronda was a county commissioner," he said. But when local politicians hit higher office, they spend more time in Tallahassee. "If you're not around, they feel neglected."

And, finally, from Storms herself in an e-mail: "While I certainly agree there is an anti-incumbent sentiment amongst some folks, I haven't seen evidence of that in my campaign." She collected plenty of signatures to qualify by petition and has "marveled" at the support.

So what does it all mean?

Maybe nothing.

Storms will always be the one voting for a bill to force a woman to pay for and undergo an unnecessary ultrasound before she can get a legal abortion. Then she will suddenly make sense with a push for better oversight on how kids in state care are prescribed psychiatric drugs following the suicide of a heavily medicated 7-year-old foster child.

My theory: Storms will still be a bear to beat, particularly if she ever listens to what people are saying about her.

Ronda Storms bested in Brandon? Has the world gone mad? 05/27/10 [Last modified: Thursday, May 27, 2010 7:06pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jordan Spieth wins British Open (w/ video)

    Golf

    SOUTHPORT, England — Someday, perhaps soon, there will be a plaque at Royal Birkdale for Jordan Spieth, much like the one off the 16th hole that celebrates Arnold Palmer and the 6-iron he slashed out of the rough in 1961 to win the British Open and usher in a new era of golf.

    Matt Kuchar plays out of the bunker on the 18th hole and finishes with bogey for 1-under 69. He had a one-shot lead after 13 holes.
  2. Fennelly: Brutal weekend could be start of something worse for Rays

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Well, that was lovely.

    Brad Boxberger suffers his second loss in the three-game series, this time by allowing back-to-back homers in the eighth inning when called on to protect a 5-3 lead. “Just bad pitches,” he says.
  3. Wesley Chapel hockey camp impresses youth players, parents

    Lightning Strikes

    WESLEY CHAPEL — As a 17-year-old Triple-A hockey player, MacCallum Brown regularly plays against elite talent. As a Palm Harbor resident, he often has to travel to face that talent.

  4. Rays claim not to be panicking after third straight brutal loss to Rangers (w/ video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — There was no "here we go again" moment in the dugout as Rougned Odor's two-run homer in the eighth inning arced across Tropicana Field and toward the rightfield seats, even though when it landed, the score was tied and another late-inning Rays lead was blown.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria heads back to the dugout after fouling out in the ninth inning with the potential tying run on first.
  5. White House signals acceptance of Russia sanctions bill

    National

    WASHINGTON — The White House indicated Sunday that President Donald Trump would accept new legislation imposing sanctions on Russia and curtailing his authority to lift them on his own, a striking turnaround after a broad revolt in Congress by lawmakers of both parties who distrusted his friendly approach to …

    President Donald Trump’s ability to lift sanctions against Russia would be blocked.