It's over. Joe Redner is well behind in his effort to defeat Gwen Miller. With 92 of 112 precincts reporting, Miller has 12,623 votes to Redner's 9,287. That is too many votes to make up at this point.
UPDATE: Final returns are Miller, 15,383 votes; Redner, 11,857.
ANALYSIS: The turnout was about what I expected, but it is pretty clear even without precinct details that Redner got beat on the ground, with Miller turning out absentee votes (she was ahead by more than 60-40 when the absentees reported) and mustering a real GOTV effort.
Redner hurt himself by offering free admission to the Mons Venus club for anyone who sported an "I Voted" sticker, and finished himself off when he commented that he was "blacker" than Miller, a civil rights veteran. That was enough to energize her forces. Those missteps were followed by a series of 1A stories in the Tampa Tribune that, while appropriate and fair, raised his profile as an adult business owner to new levels.
As La Gaceta publisher Patrick Manteiga told me a few weeks ago, Joe is a tremendous personality and committed activist but a terrible politician, as he won't play by the rules that govern every political race. By challenging conventional wisdom and urging/cajoling/bribing voters to hit the polls regardless of their choice of candidate, he provided his own downfall.
For the record, I predicted on WMNF on Monday that Redner would win. I was wrong.
Finally, Redner also proved himself wrong about whether a black candidate in Tampa can beat a white candidate. Until Tuesday, that had not happened. It could be argued that if Miller had faced anyone other than Redner, it might still be true.