Tampa politics: A-Rod for mayor?

Candidates real and imagined abound to replace Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. See who has a real shot at winning.

By Chris Ingram

Affable and competent Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is term-limited from running for re-election to a third consecutive term as mayor. Mayor Bob was long-speculated to run for governor in 2018, but doubled down on Hillary Clinton’s run for the Oval Office with hopes of landing a plumb assignment as Ambassador to Ireland or the Vatican (both naturals for this Lucky Charms eating Catholic).

As we all know, Buckhorn’s bet went to the house, and Donald Trump is in the White House and ol’ Bob is left to ponder what could’ve been, and what to do next.

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Lesson learned: Win first. Measure for drapes second.

Buckhorn’s dilemma is the last thing on the minds of several aspiring pols who would like to replace him.

The list of aspiring Gasparilla-keepers is longer than complaints about the lack of crosswalks across Bayshore Blvd., or potholes across city roadways. Still, political ladder climbers abound, and someone will get the job that pays $151,507 per year and comes with a dedicated Tampa Police officer for guard duty. That sounds good, maybe I will run.

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A ubiquitous Tampa pothole.

Earlier this week, one of the mayoral aspirants paid a polling company more money than it was worth to test a “sample ballot” of some of the potential candidates. The poll asked voters from a list of likely mayoral wannabes which one they liked best, if the election for mayor of Tampa were held today. For the record, it’s not being held today – or this year for that matter; in fact, it’s not even being held next year. The Tampa mayoral election will be in March 2019. Yeah. March 2019. That’s about 20 months from now, hence this poll being a waste of money. But alas, politicians with more money than brains like polls that tell them how good their sample ballot numbers are and how high their name I.D. is – unless they aren’t.

The wasteful survey gave the option to “vote” in the poll for one of six hopefuls which the geniuses behind the poll (and the unnamed candidate who paid for it) thought should top the list. The options were given in the order that follows – even though actual voter ballots list candidates alphabetically: former State Rep. Ed Narain, former Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor, City Councilman Mike Suarez, Councilman Harry Cohen, architect Mickey Jacobs, and former County Commissioner Ed Turanchik.

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Ten bucks you have no idea who this guy is.

It is worth noting, all of the candidates are Democrats with the exception of Jacobs (though the race is officially non-partisan, the last Republican to serve was Bob Martinez who changed parties from Democrat to Republican while in office). It is also worth pointing out that I know five of the six candidates (all but Jacobs). That doesn’t bode well for him, because I am a Republican. I also live in Tampa. If a Republican is to have a chance at winning a seat on the lowly but powerful pothole review board, much less mayor of Tampa, he needs every Republican in the city to vote for him; and even then, he doesn’t have much of a chance.

So we can start this ill-conceived survey by eliminating Jacobs from the list of real contenders.

But before analyzing the viability of the rest of the so-called field, it’s also important to consider who is missing from the list. Those names include: Councilwoman Yoli Capin; Hillsborough Commissioner Ken Hagan (who doesn’t even live in the city); author and professional speaker Topher Morrison; and I’ll throw in lawyer and state legislative candidate Bob Buesing because I like him (and he bought me breakfast a few months ago, and I can be bought for a $9.99 omelet and cup of coffee at First Watch). Oh! And last but not least, don’t forget about former MLBA player Alex Rodriguez; he is on the list because I needed a catchy title to this column to get morons who don’t care about politics and government to read it. Welcome morons! 

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A-Rod: “You want me to run for what?”

So let’s look at who the poll’s puppet masters think is “in” and dissect them.

Of the five legitimate candidates, I like all but one of them (and I am not saying who the one I don’t like is, but if any of the them take me out to Datz for lunch I will tell them it wasn’t them).  In fact, some of the candidates I believe are, or would be fine public servants – in a self-serving, unaccomplished, egotistical, political ladder-climbing sort of way. I used to fondly think the same way about Marco Rubio. Today I see him as worse than termite dust (which I currently have in my house causing me to think Rubio may actually be better than termite dust), but that’s another column.

So here are the five analyzed:

Ed Narain – Ed is extremely likeable, is smart, has decent name ID in parts of the city, and (unlike Marco Rubio), he has a day job (albeit government related) working for a large telecom company as a lobbyist or something. Ed is a family man with really cute kids, and he has a good heart and good intentions. He would make a fine mayor. He barely lost his race to the state senate against Darryl Rouson last year. To win the mayoral race, he’s going to need to expand his name I.D., and become known as more than just “the black candidate.” If he plays his cards right, he can probably do it, but it’s going to be a challenge. Joining a Rotary Club would certainly help him in this endeavor.

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Former state Rep. Ed Narain and family.

Jane Castor – Jane probably knows the streets of Tampa better than the guy who paved them. She served for decades as an officer with TPD, and retired a few years ago as the city’s police chief. By most accounts she did a great job as chief, but she has a few scandals under her belt to explain, including the set-up of a DUI of a lawyer in the Bubba the Love Sponge case by one of her officers, as well as the whole issue of “ticketing while black” of the city’s black bicycle riders.  She’ll get past all that, but being on defense isn’t how you want to start your campaign. Castor would be the city’s first openly gay mayor (ensuring her getting the endorsement of the liberal mullet wrapper Tampa Bay Times), even though ironically she was a Republican until just about two years ago. Thanks a lot Ana!

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Former TPD Chief Jane Castor is a familiar face.

Mike Suarez – I like to kid Mike that he is Bob Buckhorn’s “Minnie me.” I’m not sure Mike likes that comparison, but I’d take it to the bank if I were him. I would also take his hair. I am mostly bald. Mike is not. I would kill for his perfectly coifed hair if I cared about having hair. Speaking of grooming, Suarez has groomed himself to be mayor. Like Buckhorn, he is affable, and that matters more than smarts in politics because voters are really shallow and stupid (see Donald Trump). He will likely present himself as an extension of the good times (less all the potholes and police scandals) of the Buckhorn administration. Like Mayor Bob, Suarez won’t embarrass the city, but he’s not exactly going to be a dynamic visionary leader either, and at the end of his term, Tampa will most likely still be riddled with potholes and flooded streets. It could be worse.

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Good natured and good hair, Councilman Mike Suarez is Buchkhorn, Jr.

Harry Cohen – Of the six candidates whom I know, I know Harry the least. Like others, he’s got good grey matter, and a grasp of the issues, but he’s not exactly the most mesmerizing candidate you ever met. But hey, neither was Pam Iorio and she did a great job as mayor of Tampa. Still, voters don’t want smart, they want fun and likable. Don’t believe me? Remember Bill Clinton beat George H.W. Bush. WTF! But in a multi-candidate race, Cohen could be a consensus builder and sneak to victory.

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Councilman Harry Cohen could be consensus candidate.

Ed Turanchik – Of all the candidates with smarts, Ed is the most cerebral. He knows transportation like it’s his job, and I would imagine he also has the best grasp on where to get the finest vegan and gluten-free green smoothie in the city. While that sits well with Tampa’s liberal elite, and all the fools out there who think they have a gluten allergy (doctors say less than 1 percent of the population is actually allergic to gluten, but you wouldn’t know that by looking at all the over-priced gluten-free options at swanky south Tampa restaurant menus), it might not sit well with the just-slightly left-of-center Tampa voters. Thus, it doesn’t bode well for Turanchik’s prospects that he’s more Bernie Sanders than Joe Biden. Choo! Choo!

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Former Hills. Commissioner Ed Turanchik needs to share his vision beyond rail.

So there you have it, my official analysis of the unofficial candidates for Mayor of Tampa. May the best candidate win – announced, unannounced, or pie in the sky wishful thinking rumor mongering for someone else to get in it by people like me.

Go A-rod!

Chris Ingram is a political consultant, media personality, columnist, and political analyst for Bay News 9. Follow him on Twitter at: @IrreverentView. 


Unfit “tone and substance” for the Tampa Bay Times

One-sided journalism is propaganda, not journalism.

Editors note:  I submitted the following as my bi-monthly column submission to the Tampa Bay Times two weeks ago. The editor rejected the column saying it “does not fit in tone or substance.” I pointed out to the editor that the subject matter was in the ultra-liberal New York Times (and referenced in the column) days earlier. I further pointed out that the Tampa Bay Times has a regular columnist who frequently calls names, bashes Republicans and makes baseless claims, while my rejected column does none of that.

 mullet-wrapper_editedThe editor later said they would be running the New York Times piece in the Sunday opinion section, which they did.

Not surprisingly, subsequent to my rejected column with its “unfit tone and substance,” the Tampa Bay Times has run multiple front page stories and editorials on unproven allegations of sexual harassment against Donald Trump. 

Regardless, the Tampa Bay Times’ decision is an example of a today’s liberal media. They embrace thought-provoking differences of opinion — so long as those opinions are theirs, and they conform with the propaganda it calls journalism. I have notified the Tampa Bay Times‘ editor that I will no longer be writing for the paper. One-sided opinion is merely propaganda and is not something I wish to be associated with. Shame on me really, what should I have expected from a paper that in over 100 years of existence has never endorsed a Republican for president or governor of the state of Florida?

I have cancelled my subscription to the Tampa Bay Times. You can do so by calling this number: 1-800-888-7012.

Images were not included in column submission.

Here is the column: 

Hillary Clinton’s hypocrisy

Last year, while addressing the press in Iowa, Hillary Clinton said, “Today I want to send a message to every survivor of sexual assault… don’t let anyone silence your voice. You have the right to be heard. You have the right to be believed and we’re with you.”

But practicing what she preaches has never been Mrs. Clinton’s strong suit. As it relates to addressing sexual predators, she has taken a blind-eye to the one who is most front and center in her life: her husband Bill Clinton.

Out on the campaign trail, Donald Trump has tried to make an issue of Mr. Clinton’s behavior, but he is not making the connection as to why it is relevant in this year’s campaign for the White House.

The relevancy is not the fact that Mr. Clinton has been accused of rape (by Juanita Broderick and Eileen Wellstone), has engaged in what can only be characterized as workplace sexual harassment (in the cases of Gennifer Flowers and Monica Lewinsky), as well as groping (Kathleen Wiley, Christy Zercher, Sandra Allen James), not to mention claims of extramarital affairs; no, what is relevant is Mrs. Clinton’s behavior as it relates to her husband’s misogyny. Because she is right. Victims of sexual assault (and harassment), have the right to be heard, and the right to be believed.

But over the years, Mrs. Clinton has chosen to not help women who are victims of her husband’s assaults. Instead, she has vilified and denounced those women who have accused him of rape, abuse, and workplace harassment. She once referred to Flowers as a “bimbo” and “trailer park trash,” and referred to Lewinksy as a “narcissistic loony toon.” Her husband has admitted to relations with both women – both of whom were under his employ at the time of his mistreatment.

Imagine for a moment if a prominent Republican had been accused of rape, sexual harassment in the workplace, or had carried on with a young intern. No doubt, liberals, feminists, and Hillary Clinton would have certainly (and appropriately) condemned them, called for investigations, resignation, etc., and would have repeatedly reminded us that the victim was the woman.

Over the years, Mrs. Clinton has repeatedly had the chance to stand up for her husband’s victims, but she has done none of that. Instead, she has chosen to ignore what’s right for victims, in favor of what is best for her and her political aspirations by defending her husband and attacking the victims.


According to a report in the October 2, 2016 New York Times, “Outwardly, [Mrs. Clinton] remained stoic and defiant, defending her husband while a progression of women and well-funded conservative operatives accused Mr. Clinton of behavior unbecoming the leader of the free world.

But privately, she embraced the Clinton campaign’s aggressive strategy of counterattack: Women who claimed to have had sexual encounters with Mr. Clinton would become targets of digging and discrediting — tactics that women’s rights advocates frequently denounce.

The campaign hired a private investigator with a bare-knuckles reputation who embarked on a mission, as he put it in a memo, to impugn Ms. Flowers’s ‘character and veracity until she is destroyed beyond all recognition.’”bill-clintons-victims-2

While nothing Mrs. Clinton says is, in my opinion, credible, and her actions or inaction on sexual assault victims won’t change my vote, I am dumbfounded by the number of women who claim to be feminists who are willing to give Mrs. Clinton a pass.

Perhaps having blinders on and being in denial about Mrs. Clinton’s pathetic actions involving her husband’s misogynistic behavior makes it easier to cast a ballot for her; but it sends a terrible message to young and impressionable women who look up to Mrs. Clinton as role model.

“Don’t let anyone silence your voice,” she says. Unless that is, she is doing the silencing and the silence benefits her. Mrs. Clinton’s hypocrisy suggests she’s just fine with it remaining a man’s world.

Chris Ingram is a columnist, Republican political consultant, and political analyst for Bay News 9.

Bill Clinton’s hooker problem

Thanks to my friend Larry for passing this along this amusing tale (joke).


Bill Clinton started jogging near his home in Chappaqua.
But on each run he happened to jog past a hooker standing on the same Street corner, day after day.
With some apprehension he would brace himself as he approached her for what was most certainly to follow.

“Fifty dollars!” she would cry out from the curb.

“No, Five dollars!” fired back Clinton.

This ritual between Bill and the hooker continued for days. Continue reading “Bill Clinton’s hooker problem”

The Water Cooler: Clinton for Secretary of State?

Let’s get one thing perfectly clear, Hillary Clinton is a lot of things, but she isn’t a diplomat. And why would she want to be SoS? There isn’t much to hand out in the form of graft, and corruption to her elite political supporters. For that, she ought to head over to the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development or some other agency full of government grants and programs she can dish out. That’s the Clinton way afterall.

Pinch me, this has to be a nightmare

By Chris Ingram

The Water Cooler is an occasional feature of talking points about politics.

• Politics makes strange bedfellows. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton exchanged a lot of heated words during the Democratic Primary this year. Now it appears Obama is “considering” Ms. Clinton for Secretary of State. News reports say Clinton and Obama met in Chicago this week and that the Obama camp is doing nothing to deny speculation that she is being considered. CNN reports that Continue reading “The Water Cooler: Clinton for Secretary of State?”

Get Ready for Obamalism

Despite being outspent by hundreds of millions of dollars, and taking bad advice by a bunch of (Bush) people who never had his interest at heart, John McCain’s numbers on Election Night were actually respectable. Had George W. Bush been on the ballot for re-election to a third term, I’m not sure he would have even carried Texas. McCain for his part put up a good fight and managed to win enough states to show this wasn’t a clear mandate on Obamalism. But in the long run, McCain was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or as my friend and noted political scientist Darryl Paulson likes to say, George W. Bush defeated John McCain not once, but twice.

I want to puke, but at least HRC isn’t the president-elect.

By Chris Ingram

My friends, George W. Bush has left our Republican Party in disarray. Make no mistake, John McCain ran a lousy campaign, but McCain could have run a lousy campaign and won had it not been for the pathetic eight years of the Bush presidency. Bush I believe will go down in modern history as our worst president — even worse than Carter.

Despite being outspent by hundreds of millions of dollars, and taking bad advice by a bunch of (Bush) people who never had his interest at heart, John McCain’s numbers on Election Night were actually respectable. Had George W. Bush been on the ballot for re-election to a third term, I’m not sure he would have even carried Texas. McCain for his part put up a good fight and managed to win enough states to show this wasn’t a clear mandate on Obamalism. Continue reading “Get Ready for Obamalism”