Deadline for Tampa City Council candidates comes for those seeking to replace Dingfelder and Saul-Sena

This morning in the St. Pete Times, columnist Ernest Hooper writes that it's a "disappointment" that Hillsborough Republicans are suing to deny Dingfelder and Saul-Sena access to the November ballot, though he begins his column by writing that the Democrats would probably be doing it if the roles were reversed.

Hillsborough Republican Party Chair Deborah Cox-Roush says it's all about the law, and believes, like Hooper, that the Dems would be doing the same to her.

"We think that they violated laws," the chair told CL over the weekend.  "Someone asked me the other day if it’s about trying to keep Democrats off the ticket and I said ‘that’s not it at all, I would expect Chairman (Pat) Kemp to do the same thing  if it was our candidates, and it’s about following the law."

Dingfelder's possible Republican opponent in the District 1 County Commission race, Sandy Murman, agrees. "  But she had little to say about the lawsuit filed against Dingfelder's candidacy last week by Republican Brian Lothrop.  "I've not been involved in that," she said.  When asked what she made of the error that the former City Councilman made in failing to submit the requested letter to the Supervisor of Elections on time,  "I think most people were a little surprised by that.  I do think there needs to be a lot of attention to detail when you're a candidate and when you're elected."

Today is the deadline for Tampa citizens who want to apply for consideration to be selected as interim council members next week, replacing John Dingfelder and Linda Saul-Sena, who both resigned last month after they learned that they had missed a deadline to submit paperwork declaring they would be resigning.

Although several candidates who were already running for the March 2011 elections have opted to enter now (like Seth Nelson and Harry Cohen), another 2011 candidate, Julie Jenkins, is not.

Jenkins said over the weekend that it "contradicts my concept of fair play to give a candidate a leg up on other candidates with the blessing of the elected body." She said that it was only right that any applicant "make that request directly to the voters, not City Council.  Representative government demands no less."

Those candidates will be selected by the five remaining members of the Council a week from today.

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