It was inside a house of God, at the Bible-Based Fellowship Church of Temple Terrace last night, where the NAACP hosted a candidates forum with one batch of Hillsborough County School Board candidates, as well as the Democrats running for state Senate in Districts 58 & 60, and Hillsborough County Commission in Districts 3 & 5.
Like last week in East Tampa, divisions were drawn between embattled Hillsborough District 3 incumbent Kevin White and his two challengers, Children's Board member Valerie Goddard and former state Senator Les Miller. Like last week, White took shots at his competitors (albeit not as stridently in this house of worship as he had last week), belittling Goddard for her work on the Children's Board, and bashing Miller as being missing in action in helping black businesses get contracts when he was in charge of minority hirings at Tampa General Hospital.
This reporter served on two of the five different panels that were assembled throughout the three-hour-plus affair. CL asked the candidates if they agreed with what we have found in reporting on the District 3 race in recent weeks that is, despite the fact that White was found guilty of sexually harassing an aide last year that has ended costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees, his supporters believe he's received a raw deal from the local mainstream media. Did they agree with that or not?