Almost every candidate showed up to January 8 Tampa mayoral forum

Can you guess who didn’t?

click to enlarge David Straz, who was a no-show at a Tampa mayoral forum on January 8, 2019. - Facebook/David Straz for Mayor
Facebook/David Straz for Mayor
David Straz, who was a no-show at a Tampa mayoral forum on January 8, 2019.

There are yard signs saying that David Straz wants to be mayor, but citizens didn't get a chance to see him face-to-face at a January 8 forum.

The Tampa Bay Times said that the philanthropist and billionaire benefactor of Tampa's performing arts center was the only no-show at Tuesday night's architectural and design forum, which featured the six other candidates vying to be Tampa’s next mayor.

In brief opening remarks, former Plant City Mayor John Dicks — who attempted to participate as a stand-in for Straz — told organizers that “something came up" for Straz and that the campaign contacted him a few hours before Tuesday’s debate and asked him to fill in.

The forum’s moderator (former Tampa City Council member and sometime CL contributor Linda Saul-Sena) pretty much said, “nah,” and told him he couldn’t answer questions.

Normally, we’d be inclined to give someone the benefit of the doubt. Shit happens, and life is complicated — even for folks running for mayor.

But the Times' Charlie Frago wrote that Straz has now missed two of four mayoral debates. The campaign did not return a request for an explanation from the Times, and CL is waiting to see if it will respond to our request for comment.

Maybe someone can ask him about it at Wednesday night’s televised debate? Watch video from Tuesday’s forum below.

About The Author

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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