Sunday, November 18, 2018
  • Bay Buzz
  • From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Land O’ Lakes voter bids farewell to Florida elections

Melinda Rivera cast her ballot Tuesday morning at the Land O' Lakes Recreation Center then posed for a selfie with a poll worker. A few minutes later, she shot another digital photograph with a journalist.

"It's my last vote as a single woman," said Rivera, 47, of Land O'Lakes.

Also, her last election in Florida. She is moving to South Carolina where her fiance, David Matos, is a firefighter in Greenville. She completed the Democratic ballot, voting for Andrew Gillum for governor and Chris Hunter for U.S. Congress. Mostly, though, she said she was voting for one thing: anti-Trump.

Rivera was in the minority at the heavy Republican precinct. By mid-morning, only 162 Election Day ballots had been cast there, bringing the precinct's total to 1,450 votes including mail and early voters.  Of that, 711 were Republicans and 577 were Democrats.

Republican Adam Arfaras, 57, said he voted for U.S. Rep Ron DeSantis of Palm Coast  for governor and Assistant State Attorney Elle Rudisill for state House of Representatives District 37.

"I am very conservative and I am hard-core for life, liberty and pursuit of happiness," he said.

Several voters said they preferred DeSantis' opponent for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam of Lakeland.  They considered him a favorite son even though he is not from Pasco County.

"I watched him grow up, basically," said Linda Villar, 54.

"He's a Florida boy," said Marlin King, 72.

"He's been around and (Polk County Sheriff) Grady Judd endorsed him," said Carlos Valle Sr., 67, whose son is a deputy sheriff in Polk County.

Missing from the recreation center's exterior was the usual gauntlet of candidates and volunteers holding campaign signs.  Robert Tulba 31, of Land O' Lakes held the only sign:  "Andrew Gillum for governor."

It might have worked. Only three Democratic voters agreed to talk to a journalist and all three said they voted for Gillum.

At the community center at Land O' Lakes Heritage Park, home to precincts eight and 20, the sign-waving was a family affair. Judy Morrow, 74, of Lutz held a sign on behalf of her granddaughter, Rudisill, who faced fellow Republicans Ardian Zika and Ryan Patrick Boney for the GOP nomination for the state House seat now held by outgoing House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O' Lakes.

Morrow had a lament, however. She doesn't live in the district and couldn't vote for Rudisill.

"Isn't that awful?" she said. "You think they'd let you do it when it's one of your grands."

Comments
‘Tip of the Iceberg’: Tampa corporate support for Rays? So far, it’s $16 million

‘Tip of the Iceberg’: Tampa corporate support for Rays? So far, it’s $16 million

Tampa Bay Rays 2020 co-founder Ron Christaldi put some details Friday behind his confidence that the Tampa Bay Rays will get a new home in Ybor City — $16 million of them.That's the amount of new corporate support pledged for a ball park north ...
Published: 11/16/18
Regional climate change coalition has one holdout: Pasco County

Regional climate change coalition has one holdout: Pasco County

County Commissioner Jack Mariano, who sits on the Regional Planning Council, did not bring the proposal to the County Commission because he doesn't want the words climate change used.
Published: 11/16/18
Tampa’s Grand Central Station and High Line? Harry Cohen is thinking big on transportation

Tampa’s Grand Central Station and High Line? Harry Cohen is thinking big on transportation

  Tampa City Council member Harry Cohen, an eight-year veteran of City Council, is known for his attention to detail on even the smallest zoning matter. But in his run to replace term-limited Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Cohen is leaving the small-ball appr...
Published: 11/15/18
Updated: 11/16/18
Clearwater Vice Mayor Doreen Caudell resigns at council meeting

Clearwater Vice Mayor Doreen Caudell resigns at council meeting

Caudell said she needs to spend more time on her business, then walked out of the meeting. City Attorney Pam Akin said the resignation won't be official until it's in writing.
Published: 11/15/18
Rules of the Sidewalk? Tampa grapples with the rented scooter craze

Rules of the Sidewalk? Tampa grapples with the rented scooter craze

Tampa city officials are sifting through applications for a pilot scooter program. Residents could be scooting through the streets by February.
Published: 11/15/18
Buckhorn names Arthenia Joyner to transit committee

Buckhorn names Arthenia Joyner to transit committee

The former Democratic state senator is the first person named to the 13-member transit surtax oversight committee.
Published: 11/15/18
Clearwater strong mayor fight is over but rift on City Council remains an open wound

Clearwater strong mayor fight is over but rift on City Council remains an open wound

Hoyt Hamilton asks for apology from Doreen Caudell for her words in Letter to the Editor. She apologizes but claims she was misquoted in her own letter.
Published: 11/14/18
William March: Could a late arrival in Tampa mayor’s race upset the apple cart?

William March: Could a late arrival in Tampa mayor’s race upset the apple cart?

Speculation centers on businessman Mike Griffin or former state Rep. Ed Narain possibly entering the race for Tampa mayor.
Published: 11/13/18
Is he doing a post-election two-step? Ed Turanchik  on the transportation tax, then and now

Is he doing a post-election two-step? Ed Turanchik on the transportation tax, then and now

Before the vote, Ed Turanchik was highly critical of the one-penny sales tax increase to fund transportation improvements that passed overwhelmingly on Tuesday.The former Hillsborough County Commissioner and current Tampa mayoral candidate was the on...
Published: 11/08/18
Updated: 11/09/18
Hillsborough now firmly blue

Hillsborough now firmly blue

A growing urban and suburban population has shifted Hillsborough's politics, pundits say.
Published: 11/07/18