Gibbons Endorses Bilirakis

The news broke this afternoon, former Democratic Congressman Sam Gibbons – whose been out of politics for more than a decade – has crossed party lines to endorse Republican Congressman Gus Bilirakis.

Now, it’s not like Biliraks’ Democratic opponents are “slouches” — Bill Mitchell is a Tampa lawyer who ran for office as a Republican a few years ago, then ran as a Democrat, and is back again… John Dicks is the former Mayor of Plant City and could appeal to the rural Pasco county portion of the district. So, Gibbons could have done more politically by endorsing one of these Dems. (There are other candidates, but the real race will be Bilirakis versus either Dicks or Mitchell (probably Dicks).

Some excerpts…

From The Buzz: …said Gibbons in an open letter to voters in District 9. “I feel that my 34 years in Congress representing a good part of Congressman Bilirakis’ current district, qualifies me to make this endorsement. I am pleased to support the reelection of Congressman Bilirakis.”

From March on PoliticsThe reasons: Gibbons is a long-time friend of Bilirakis’s father, Mike Bilirakis, who formerly held Gus’s seat and who served with Gibbons in the House for years. Also, “I’ve watched Gus since he got to Washington and I think he’s honest and he’s doing a creditable job,” Gibbons said in an interview a few moments ago.

From the PoHo himself: I would chide “way to screw over the home team, Sam” but I have too much respect for the former WWII paratrooper. But you hardcore partisans out there, have at it.

Surprisingly… although Pushing Rope talks about it, he doesn’t make much of a comment…

And in an interesting twist… I worked for Gus Bilirakis in the Florida House, while John Dicks is a fraternity brother…

About Jim Johnson

Editor and publisher of The State of Sunshine.
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