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A sprint for Buckhorn and Ferlita

7:38 PM, Mar 2, 2011   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida - If Tuesday was a night to celebrate, Wednesday was a day for work for Bob Buckhorn and Rose Ferlita.

Both mayoral candidates advanced to a March 22nd runoff by finishing first and second in Tuesday's election.

"I think it's a clean slate. I mean all I needed was to be one of the two standing today," said Buckhorn who came in second Tuesday.

One person who didn't advance was former mayor Dick Greco who failed in his bid to lead the city for a fifth time.

"I think that was a pretty big shock to him," Ferlita said.

"I think he thought he was the front runner and maybe the second place winner and when you go to three it's a shame and hopefully at this point people will think about some of the good things he did with the city as opposed to looking at he lost this race," she added.

Both Buckhorn and Ferlita say raising additional money for their campaigns will be critical. They also believe the top issues will remain the same; jobs, the economy and transportation.

The candidates expect to face-off in several public forums before the 22nd.  One of those events will be held next Tuesday night at Blake High School. It is open to the public and is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

"I want this (campaign) to be a debate about ideas not about personalities and we're going to keep it on the up and up and I think voters deserve that," Buckhorn said.

Endorsements from those candidates no longer in the race could also be a big help. Both Buckhorn and Ferlita say they have already reached out to the others.

One person who was coy about whether she would ultimately make an endorsement before the final votes are cast is current Mayor Pam Iorio.

All she would say Wednesday was that this is an exciting time for the city.

Preston Rudie

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