The answer to the question that graced the cover of this week's Creative Loafing, as the
smoke clears this morning, is an emphatic yes. Redner did minimal campaigning (no telephones, no ads, no TV, just one direct mail piece that I saw) and still finished second by a hair against 12-year incumbent Gwen Miller in his race for the Tampa City Council.
One political insider I spoke with late last night summed up Miller's problem in the runoff this way: "She's nobody's second vote." What he meant is that in a crowded primary field (there were six in this race), every candidate angles to be a voter's second choice if they can't win their vote. That way, in the runoff, those voters whose candidates didn't make the cut are inclined to vote for you as their "second choice."