TAMPA — Guido Maniscalco can be forgiven for wiping some months-old political sweat from his brow:Tampa political icon Charlie Miranda isn't going to run against him after all.
In May, Miranda, who has served on the City Council off and on since the 1970s, hinted that he might challenge first-termer Maniscalco in District 6, which covers West Tampa, the West Shore area and Seminole Heights.
For the rest of 2018, Tampa politicos sifted the political tea leaves trying to figure out what Miranda would do. Meanwhile, the normally voluble 78-year-old kept mum.
On Thursday, accompanied by eight grandchildren, Miranda filed paperwork to run again in the District 2 citywide seat. Moshiah Lightburn, John Godwin and Nicholas Glover have already declared.
Asked to assess his upcoming race, Miranda said: "Every race is different. The only opponent I run against in a campaign is myself."
Godwin soon released a statement vowing to stay in the race.
"I knew when I filed that others would also enter the race,'' he said. "This doesn't change that Tampa deserves the best, so it doesn't change my plans, my commitment to serve Tampeños.''
In past runs, Miranda has proven to be a formidable fundraiser and has very high name recognition.
Maniscalco, 34, said although he didn't yet have an opponent in District 6, he wasn't going to relax until the qualifying period ends Jan. 18.
"It was never really awkward," Maniscalco said of sharing a council dais with a political legend who may or may not have been seriously contemplating an attempt to take him out of elected office. "We're alike in many ways. We're Tampa natives and we care about a lot of the same things. I love history and he's like Dick Greco."
Miranda said all his grandchildren will take an active role in his campaign and prepared a four-page memo listing their accomplishments and photos.
The youngest, 11-year-old Ryan Miranda, will be the campaign manager. The campaign message? "Hope," said Ryan, a fifth-grader at Corbett Prep.
Nudged by his grandfather to elaborate, Ryan chose to keep his political cards hidden. "Strategy," he said.