Fox In The Hunt

It’s not quite stop-the-presses news, but it is now official.

Long-shot, wild card Al Fox is in the race to succeed Jim Davis in Congress.

And that means something else is also a certainty.

The other Democratic candidates – Hillsborough County Commissioner Kathy Castor, State Senator Les Miller and Tampa attorneys Michael Steinberg and Scott Farrell — will not be able to finesse their positions and hedge their bets on Cuba. They won’t be able to maintain the incongruous position that while it’s inhumane for the Bush Administration to have tightened the screws on Cuban family visitations and remittances, it remains quite acceptably humane to maintain the long-running, counterproductive and cruel economic embargo. At least not without being called on it.

The 61-year-old Ybor City native and long-time Washington insider and lobbyist says Cuba is “the one issue that nobody else has.”

For sure, nobody else has his take. He’s vehemently opposed to the embargo and in favor of sitting down with Fidel Castro and normalizing relations. That’s a gutsy – some would say ill-advised and still politically untenable position — for a Florida politician.

His reasoning:

*”My position is what’s best for America, not what’s best for Cuba. The embargo is a relic of the Cold War. It costs us buckets of money.”

*”I support sitting down with the Cuban government as it is. It’s a sovereign country, and we don’t have to like it. For that matter, I don’t like North Korea or Saudi Arabia.”

While Fox insists he’s not a one-issue candidate, this is the one issue that will draw the most attention and generate the most debate heat.

He’ll likely not be the next U.S. Representative from District 11, but Al Fox will make sure the winner doesn’t get a pass on Cuba.

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