Today is the run-off election in Tampa. There are two seats on the ballot. District 1 pits incumbent Councilwoman Gwen Miller against the infamous Joe Redner. District 7 has two New Tampa residents Frank Margarella versus Joseph Caetano.
District 7 is easier to predict than District 1. Caetano has the better organization, including the support of Charlie Perkins, who finished a close third in the primary election for this District. I think Caetano will win this race.
The one thing that Tampa’s politicos have been watching is the Redner campaign. I have heard from my sources that the South Tampa machine — the one that propelled Mary Mulhern over Shawn Harrison and John Dingfelder’s significant victory — is pushing Redner.
Redner is also the better campaigner. He consistently shows his grasp of city issues and he clearly has a vision for what he thinks is the right course for the city.
However, he can not escape what he does for a living.
In the primay, 60% of votes cast came from Democrats, who traditionally do not have the same social concerns about adult businesses. If the turnout in the runoff is lower, and I believe it will be, the proportion of votes from Democrats will probably be higher.
Will that be enough to push Redner over the top? We have a little more than 12 hours to find out.