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Richard Danielson, Times Staff Writer

Richard Danielson

Richard Danielson covers city government and politics in Tampa. He grew up in Clearwater and joined the Times in 1987. This is his second tour at City Hall (the first was from 1992 to '97). His other reporting assignments at the Times have included covering higher education and local government, politics and courts in Pinellas and Pasco counties. He also has worked as the Times' Palm Harbor bureau chief and Clearwater city editor. In his current assignment, he is the main contributor to PolitiFact Florida's Buck-O-Meter, which tracks Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn's performance on 34 campaign promises.

Phone: (813) 226-3403

Email: danielson@tampabay.com

Twitter: @Danielson_Times

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  1. Maniscalco supporter: What Toledo campaign consultant said doesn't match what I saw

    Blog

    Asked Wednesday night whether he knew Auston Molina, whose name had surfaced in connection with a new political action committee Moving Tampa Forward, Jackie Toledo campaign consultant Anthony Pedicini said, “No, I don’t think I do.”...

  2. Tampa council races focus on transportation, neighborhoods

    Elections

    TAMPA — Memories of the recession are fading. Building permits and property tax revenues are on the rise. And business tycoon Jeff Vinik plans to make a $1 billion bet on the future of downtown.

    So the campaigns heading into Tuesday's city elections have featured more optimism than pessimism, with relatively little controversy but plenty of talk about transportation and neighborhoods....

  3. On fourth day of early voting, Tampa turnout nears 7.4 percent

    Blog

    Turnout on the fourth day of early voting picked up a bit as 346 voters went to the polls Thursday. That pushed overall turnout so far to nearly 7.4 percent with three days left of early voting and election day next Tuesday. At this point, absentee ballots account for more than 91 percent of all ballots cast.

    Here are the precincts whose residents so far have voted the most (and the least):...

  4. Obscure group sends attack mailers in Tampa City Council District 6

    Elections

    TAMPA — With the campaign in its last week, two mystery mailers are roiling the race in City Council District 6.

    Both mailers defend candidate Jackie Toledo against "vicious" attacks and describe her as an apolitical, unifying leader. One mailer delivered on Wednesday also calls her opponents, Tommy Castellano and Guido Maniscalco, "failed" politicians and asks, "Will they do anything to beat this woman?"...

    Tommy Castellano
  5. Turnout for Tampa city election reaches 6.7 percent (so far)

    Blog

    You might not think that the pace of early voting in Tampa could get any more slack, but that's what happened Wednesday.

    Just 299 Tampa voters cast ballots during the third day of early voting, down from 341 and 352 the first two days. That brought the total number of ballots cast to 14,343, or about 6.7 percent of all Tampa voters. (About 93 percent of ballots cast so far were mailed in as absentee votes.)...

  6. Early voting remains slow in Tampa

    Blog

    The second day of early voting for Tampa's March 3 primary pushed the city's overall turnout above 6 percent, but just barely.

    So far, Tampanians have cast a total of 12,829 ballots — 12,136 absentees, 693 through early voting and two provisional. On Tuesday, 352 voters cast ballots through early voting, 11 more than on Monday.

    So far, here are the precincts with the highest and lowest rates of turnout:...

  7. Tampa to build 'quiet zone' to silence downtown train horns

    Local Government

    TAMPA — City Hall has won a $1.35 million Florida Department of Transportation grant to help create a downtown "quiet zone," where passing CSX trains won't blast their horns in the dead of night.

    The zone isn't expected to be in place before fall 2016, and it can't come soon enough for downtown residents regularly awakened by the horns.

    "This is great news, obviously, for SkyPoint and for the downtown community and its businesses," SkyPoint Condominium Association president Jeffrey Zampitella said Tuesday. "We've been looking for this for a long time."...

  8. Union backs one candidate, then another for Tampa council

    Elections

    TAMPA — Who is the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union 123 supporting in Tampa City Council District 6?

    Jackie Toledo?

    Well, there's that $1,000 check Toledo got from the union on Nov. 20. And there's the Dec. 4 letter from union business manager Todd Vega saying the union "was proud to support Jackie Toledo for City Council District 6. We feel that Jackie's enthusiasm, determination and strong commitment will serve the residents of Tampa and the City Council well. We are very pleased to endorse a candidate such as Jackie."...

  9. Tampa election turnout so far under 6 percent

    Blog

    Early voting for Tampa's March 3 primary started Monday, and by day's end turnout from absentee ballots and early voting had reached 12,426 ballots cast, or a little under 5.9 percent.

    Of those, 12,085 votes came in the form of absentee ballots, according to the Hillsborough Supervisor of Elections. On Monday, 341 voters cast ballots through early voting.

    So far, here are the precincts with the highest and lowest rates of turnout:...

    Lyn Martin, girlfriend of Kent King, waits for voters outside the Jan Kaminis Platt Regional Library on Monday.
  10. One union, two candidates, two checks, two endorsements

    Blog

    Who is the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union 123 supporting in Tampa City Council District 6?

    Jackie Toledo?

    Well, there’s that $1,000 check Toledo got from the union on Nov. 20. And there’s the Dec. 4 letter from union business manager Todd Vega saying the union “was proud to support Jackie Toledo for City Council District 6. We feel that Jackie’s enthusiasm, determination and strong commitment will serve the residents of Tampa and the City Council well. We are very pleased to endorse a candidate such as Jackie.”...

  11. Bro Bowl's final day commemorated by skaters giving it one last spin

    Human Interest

    With a construction trailer expected to arrive on site Monday, skateboarders flocked to the Bro Bowl this weekend for one last ride before a fence goes up and the bowl is demolished, to be replaced by a graffiti-free replica nearby over the next year.

    Tampa photographer Jonathan Bergmann was there Saturday with the St. Petersburg Photography Meetup Group and shares these photos.

    "Our group just showed up and started taking photos," Bergmann said by email. "I don't know if word went out in the local skater community that the 'end was near,' but I suspect that word gets around, so there definitely was an awareness when I talked to some of the guys that were there. . . . It was interesting for me to go and see these guys skate on such a 'vintage' skate park. The graffiti is amazing."...

    The Bro Bowl will be laser-scanned so a replica — free of its well-known graffiti — can be constructed as part of Perry Harvey Sr. Park’s makeover.
  12. Scenes from the last days of the Bro Bowl

    Blog

    With a construction trailer expected to arrive on site Monday, skateboarders flocked to the Bro Bowl this weekend for one last ride before a fence goes up and the bowl is demolished, to be replaced by a graffiti-free replica nearby over the next year.

    Tampa photographer Jonathan Bergmann was there Saturday with the St. Petersburg Photography Meetup Group and shares these photos....

    Saturday at the Bro Bowl in Tampa.
  13. Early voting starts Monday for Tampa elections

    Elections

    TAMPA — Early voting for Tampa's March 3 elections starts Monday, but it's looking like turnout could end up even lower than four years ago.

    There's no hotly contested mayor's race. Mayor Bob Buckhorn will be on the ballot, but his competition, write-in candidate Jose Vazquez, won't be. And no qualified challenger emerged to run against City Council member Frank Reddick in East Tampa, likely dampening enthusiasm there to go to the polls....

  14. Tampa candidate's photo with city seal draws complaint

    Elections

    TAMPA — It's been nine months since City Council candidate Jackie Toledo made news with a photo showing her in front of the city seal in Mayor Bob Buckhorn's office.

    On Friday, a supporter of one of her opponents filed a complaint with City Hall that Toledo has used the seal for political purposes in violation of the city's code.

    By displaying the photo online, Toledo "has used the city seal as part of her official campaign hundreds of times," said West Tampa restaurateur Joseph Procopio, who supports one of Toledo's opponents, District 6 candidate Guido Maniscalco....

    If Jackie Toledo, a candidate for Tampa City Council District 6, is cited for a municipal ordinance violation, she could face a fine of up to $500. Election day is March 3.
  15. Guido Maniscalco supporter files complaint with City Hall over Jackie Toledo photo in front of city seal

    Blog

    It’s been nine months since Tampa City Council candidate Jackie Toledo made news with a photo showing her in front of the city seal in Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s private conference room.

    Now a supporter of one of her opponents has filed a complaint with City Hall that Toledo has been using the seal for political purposes in violation of the city’s code....

    A supporter of Tampa City Council candidate Guido Maniscalco said this photo Maniscalco's opponent, Jackie Toledo, uses the city's official seal for political purposes without the permission required by city code.