Hillsborough Democrats re-nominate Linda Saul-Sena as their candidate

Speaking to CL Monday night, Capin said she was surprised that she was ultimately named by the Council, after it looked for awhile that Julie Brown, a losing 2007 candidate to Dingfelder, might become the next councilperson, as she originally gathered 2 votes out of the 5 member body.

Looking over at Dingfelder, Capin said she was "humbled and grateful in knowing how difficult this job is," and said she had big shoes to fill, looking over at Dingfelder (who refused to acknowledge what size a shoe he wears when asked jokingly by Democratic chair Pat Kemp).

Also speaking at the meeting was City Councilwoman Mary Mulhern, who said that she voted for both Capin and Curtis Stokes, the independent who was also selected Monday by the City Council to succeed Saul-Sena and Dingfelder.

Mulhern then took the time to preach about her favorite subject - persuading state officials that they should spent new federal money on extending a high speed rail line towards Tampa International Airport, a plan that Mayor Pam Iorio denounced earlier on Monday as a "terrible mistake."

It was good times at the Children's Board in Ybor City on Monday night, as the Hillsborough County Democratic Executive Committee voted unanimously to nominate Linda Saul-Sena to run in the District 5 seat this November against Republican Ken Hagan and independent Jim Hosler.

The vote came hours after Saul-Sena stepped down as a candidate, a la John Dingfelder weeks before, as an attempt to legally pave the way to maintain her viability amidst a lawsuit filed by a Hillsborough Republican last week. That suit claims should she should be ineligible to run, after missing a deadline when she announced she would be running for the county commission seat.

Earlier this month, John Dingfelder did a similar move, but Saul-Sena's campaign team remained resolute, saying it wasn't necessary.  Now apparently it is.  When asked about the about face, Saul-Sena campaign adviser Mitch Kates said, "we weren't lawyered up," earlier, but after consulting with an election attorney, they now believe it's the best move to maintain ballot viability.

In brief remarks to the crowd, Kates mentioned how there is only 16 more weekends until Election Day 2010. He said that the Saul-Sena camp had distributed 20,000 pieces of literature throughout the county to get the word out about Saul-Sena, who is best known as being a representative of the South Tampa/Davis Islands area,

Dingfelder was not at that meeting two weeks ago, nor was Saul-Sena present Monday night.  But Dingfelder did briefly address the Democrats, saying he wanted to thank for re-nominating after his embarrassing snafu.

He also was there to wish Yvonne Yolie Capin the very best.

Capin was named (on the 17th ballot) earlier on Monday by the current Tampa City Council to replace Dingfelder as an interim member until next March.  Capin is perhaps best known for her unsuccessful bid as a Democrat in District 57 House race in 2008, losing to Republican incumbent Faye Culp.

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