Final Campaign Thoughts

*Best sign the Iorio Administration could hit the ground running: Fred Karl is in the house.

*If you’re looking for hints about the modus operandi of Mayor Iorio, here’s one man’s opinion. “She’ll shake things up without being threatening.” That’s from the mayor’s dad, John Iorio.

*Speaking of John Iorio, the former USF English professor is still busy “polishing” up at least three novels. The one closest to publication: a political satire.

*Best example of winning by losing: John Dingfelder’s second-place finish to Kathy Castor in the County Commission race. In that uphill campaign, Dingfelder gained name — and face — recognition, as well as acknowledgement for competence and common sense. He then won a City Council seat by an impressive margin.

Sure, the County Commission has thorny issues, such as adding ownership of the St. Pete Times Forum to its stash of sports possessions and public access TV. And, yes, Ronda Storms is still there. But it had to hit home to Dingfelder recently when Commissioner Castor reportedly was moved to tears over revelations in racial harassment suits filed against the county. It means the heat — once again — has been turned up on beleaguered Hillsborough County Administrator Dan Kleman. It also means that it’s starting to look — once again — like business as usual.

*Speaking of City Council, isn’t there something blatantly incongruous about that body? Tampa is the hub of the rapidly growing Tampa Bay market and is finding itself increasingly challenged to realize its potential to compete nationally and internationally. These are sophisticated times. Not to be cruel, but can’t Tampa do better than Gwen Miller and Mary Alvarez?

*Frank Sanchez was gracious in defeat and offered up no regrets or alibis at his run-off party at Ybor City’s Cuban Club. He even went to extremes to assist the Fourth Estate. Not only did he not blame them for bad press, but he literally rushed to the aid of a Tampa Tribune reporter who had momentarily upstaged him. She had lost her balance on the stage where an ad hoc press conference had broken out, tumbled backward, fell from the stage and took most of the bunting-adorned backdrop with her. She wasn’t seriously injured, the backdrop was reassembled and the press briefing formally concluded.

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