Times endorses Kemp; Trib endorses Cruz in District 58 Democratic Primary

"This is an exceptionally hard call. Voters cannot go wrong. But Kemp is more the party activist, and we suspect Cruz would be more effective in the Republican-dominated Legislature."

Meanwhile, Kemp will be a no-show at today's candidate debate scheduled for this afternoon at the West Tampa Library.

That shouldn't be a shock, after a press release was issued on Thursday that said two of the three panelists asking questions of the candidates were quoted in an earlier CL blog posting this week as criticizing Kemp (Patrick Manteiga and Mark Beiro).  However, we're sorry not to see how the debate might have played out with Kemp present.

Kemp told CL this morning that if the event were being sponsored by the West Tampa Chamber or another civic association, she would definitely appear at the event, but "we don't need any ugly dissension," referring to published remarks by Manteiga that the District 58 position is considered a Hispanic seat, and she shouldn't be running for it.

Both the Times and the Tribune also endorsed Jackie Rojas-Quinones over Hunter Chamberlin in the GOP Primary.

Both local dailies came out with their endorsements in the State House District 58 race this morning.

The St. Pete Times endorses Hillsborough County Democratic Executive Committee Chair Pat Kemp.

The editorial says:

"Kemp brings a serious agenda to this race — jobs, consumer and environmental protection, a fairer system for taxation, and available and affordable homeowners' insurance. She has contributed to her community for years, campaigning on behalf of neighborhood protection, the homeless, parks, voters' rights and the Hillsborough River. She would be a strong Democratic voice for the minority party in the Legislature, and her personal ethics would be a breath of fresh air in Tallahassee."

The Times gives Janet Cruz some props, but ultimately concludes,

"But Cruz talks more about the past than the future."

The editorial barely even mentions Gil Sanchez.

Over at mother Trib, the editorial confesses that it's a close call, before siding with Janet Cruz:

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