Tampa Police Union endorses Dick Greco for Mayor

The Tampa Police Benevolent Association will formally announce on Friday that they are endorsing Dick Greco for mayor in next year's election in Tampa.

Of the 222 votes tabulated, Greco took home 63% of the vote.  Bob Buckhorn was a distant second with 23%, with former Police Officer Marion Lewis garnering 10%.  Tom Scott was fourth. Ed Turanchik and Arthur Richardson failed to get any votes.

This is Greco's fifth time he has ran for a four-year term for mayor in Tampa, and has been endorsed by the PBA each time, though this is the first time the union has asked their rank and file members for their opinion.

The PBA also endorsed candidates in the city council races: Curtis Stokes in the crowded District 1 race, Scott Strepina (over Mary Mulhern) in District 2, Seth Nelson in District 3, Dennis Meyers in District 4, and Frank Reddick in District 5.

They made no endorsement in the District 6 race, where Kelly Benjamin and Kevin Merchant are the candidates.  Incumbent Charlie Miranda is stretching out the drama there - he's said he will run for re-election, but not necessarily in District 6.

And the PBA had previously endorsed Joe Caetano in the New Tampa District 7 seat.  Caetano distinguished himself last year in the PBA's eyes when he was the lone council member to support the union and vote against Mayor Pam Iorio's recommendation that the city suspend step increases in 2010 for those officers who were eligible.

The PBA expressed their displeasure this past January when they protested one of those members who voted for the request, former city council member Linda Saul-Sena, when she announced her candidacy for Hillsborough County Commission.  PBA members said they would also show their displeasure with any other member of the council who ran for office, though CL cannot recall that actually happening.

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