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La Gaceta Endorses
Republican Primary
Rick Scott
Adam Putnam
Attorney General
Ashley Moody
Commissioner of Agriculture
Denise Grimsley
County Commission District 2
Ken Hagan
County Commission District 5
Victor Crist
County Commission District 7
Todd Marks

Democratic Primary
Philip Levine
Attorney General
Sean Shaw
Commissioner of Agriculture
Roy David Walker
State Senate District 20
Kathy Lewis
State House District 61
Dianne Hart
State House District 62
Susan Valdes
County Commission District 5
Mariella Smith
County Commission District 7
Ray Chiaramonte and Kimberly Overman

Universal Primary
State House District 70
Wengay Newton

Circuit Court Judge Group 25
Robin Fuson
County Court Judge Group 2
Adam Bantner and Greg Green
County Court Judge Group 5
Jared Smith
County Court Judge Group 8
E. Michael Isaak
School Board District 1
Gilbert “Gil” Machin
School Board District 2
Sally Harris
School Board District 4
Melissa Snively
School Board District 6
Karen Perez

What You Missed This Week in La Gaceta

From As We Heard It, by Patrick Manteiga

► We continue our endorsements for the primary election cycle.
State Senate District 20
Democratic Primary

Two Democrats, Joy Gibson and Kathy Lewis, are vying to become the Democratic nominee to take on the tough challenge of running against incumbent Republican Senator Tom Lee.
Gibson is bright, energetic and committed. She has experience in grassroots advocacy, constituent services and voter registration drives, as she worked for government non-profits and helped numerous campaigns. Gibson wants to change the world, or at least better the lives of people in District 20.
Lewis also wants to change the world, but she has a single issue driving her. She wants to reform the way the State of Florida works with and helps children with disabilities.
The subject is personal with Lewis and she wants to end the fraud and waste surrounding the delivery of services to the disabled.
Most legislators don’t accomplish a major change in government. Coming in with a pinpoint focus is one way to try and create change and make a difference. We like both candidates, but La Gaceta endorses Kathy Lewis in the Democratic primary for State Senate, District 20.
State House District 61
Democratic Primary

Dianne “Ms. Dee” Hart and Sharon Carter are trying for this open seat again and are joined by Norman Harris and Karen Skyers.
Carter is a school teacher in Pasco County and cares about the district and the need for more school funding.
Harris is an attorney. He is sincere, smart and a great listener. His demeanor would make him a good public servant and we hope, if he falls short in this primary, that he continues to offer his services to the voters.
Skyers is also an attorney. She served as State Senator Arthenia Joyner’s legislative aide and is currently a legislative advocate (lobbyist). She makes the point that her experience in Tallahassee gives her an advantage of knowing how the system works and how to pass legislation.
We think her knowledge of the process is important, but having a big heart for this poor district is even more meaningful.
Hart loves the district, loves the people and offers servant leadership. She also wants to be the district’s state representative, not senator or attorney general. We are sure if she wins this race, she will offer this district multiple terms if they will have her.
That’s important, as the last two winners were one-termers. The district needs a long-term advocate.
Hart has experience in trying to bring jobs, business, affordable housing and more services to the district. She owns a small business and spends many hours helping to feed those in need. She knows each street in the district and the people who live there.
La Gaceta strongly endorses Dianne Hart in the Democratic primary for State House District 61.
State House District 62
Democratic Primary

Mike Alvarez, Susan Valdes and Christopher Cano are offering their services to voters. Alvarez runs his families roofing company and at the start of this race presented himself as a nice guy, but he is now running a nasty campaign against Valdes. Alvarez did not return our calls for an interview.
Cano has run for office before. He is an organizer and advocate. He has a strong grasp of the issues, articulates his positions well and listens to opposing views.
Valdes is the star of the group. Her 12 years on the School Board will make her the best advocate public schools will have in Tallahassee. She has a list of things that will improve our education system and the lives of our children.
Valdes also has heart. She loves the district and its people. She will be a strong and vocal advocate for the poor and the powerless.
La Gaceta confidently endorses Susan Valdes for State House District 62 in the Democratic primary.
State House District 70
Universal Primary

Wengay Newton is seeking his second term and is being challenged by fellow Democrats Vito Sheeley and Keisha Bell. While all the candidates are Democrats in this primary race, it is open to all voters, regardless of party.
It’s tough being a freshman Democrat in a Republican-controlled House. But Newton looked for opportunities where he could add to the conversation and make changes. He brought home money for programs in his district and replaced the Florida statue of a Confederate general at the U.S. Capitol with one of African-American educator Mary McLeod Bethune. Newton is a strong advocate for the working class and poor and deserves another term.
La Gaceta endorses Wengay Newton for State House District 70.
Circuit Judge Group 25
This race features four candidates and is likely to go to a runoff.
Starr Brookins, 32, is smart and compassionate but needs a few more years before trying again.
Jamey Moody has been involved in his community and committed to offering pro bono services. He’s been practicing law for 15 years and does personal injury law. He is a sincere candidate, wants to follow in his father’s and sister’s footsteps and serve on the bench.
Cissy Boza Sevelin ran two years ago and is trying again. She has grown as a candidate and deserves serious consideration. Sevelin has dedicated much of her career to offering free legal services for those in need. Many of her clients are women and children. She is driven to offer her services for free because of circumstances she experienced in life. Her life experience, legal knowledge and kind heart more than qualify her for the bench.
We are supporting Robin Fuson. He’s been a prosecutor and a defense attorney. He has 25 years of legal experience and been in front of our courts nearly 5,000 times. His experience and work ethic make him a sure bet in being able to handle a busy docket.
Fuson has run before and each time, he’s become a better candidate and a better person.
La Gaceta confidently endorses Robin Fuson for Circuit Judge Group 25.
County Commission District 5
Democratic Primary

Elvis Piggott is a young, bright man who worked hard on the campaign trail and has grown. He is a pastor and has progressive ideas.
The easy choice in this race is Mariella Smith.
She is a fourth-generation Tampa native. She is from a Cuban mother and an Anglo father. For years, she fought, cajoled and worked with city, county and state governments to help the neighborhoods in which she lived and the issues for which she is passionate. She is knowledgeable and willing to compromise but committed to her beliefs of what makes a community better.
She would be a welcome addition to the County Commission.
La Gaceta confidently endorses Mariella Smith for District 5.
County Commission District 7
Democratic Primary

Four good candidates are seeking the party’s nomination.
Sky U. White is a millennial progressive who is passionate and concerned about making life better in Hillsborough County.
Mark Nash is a former Commission aide and a Democratic Party stalwart. He’s run before, knows the issues and would aggressively support more transportation funding and innovative transportation options.
We feel Ray Chiaramonte and Kimberly Overman offer the same progressive agenda as the other two candidates but would be better at creating cooperation between commissioners and other governments.
Chiaramonte is an expert in planning and transportation. He knows all the players and has a good memory of our past failings and successes. He is patient and listens.
Overman is a certified financial planner and would bring her fiscal discipline and progressive ideas to the Commission. What a great combination. She has been a citizen advocate for her neighborhood for years and would bring understanding of citizens’ frustration with the process to the Board.
La Gaceta endorses both Ray Chiaramonte and Kimberly Overman for County Commission District 7 in the Democratic primary.
County Commission District 2
Republican Primary

Ken Hagan is being challenged by Chris Paradies.
Hagan has been a leader on the Commission on many issues, the latest being baseball. He listens to constituents and will support issues on their merit and not just based on partisanship.
Republicans would be wise to send Hagan on to November to keep his position on the Commission.
La Gaceta endorses Ken Hagan for County Commission District 2 in the Republican Primary.
County Commission District 5
Republican Primary
Victor Crist is being challenged within his own party by Angel S. Urbina Capo.
We did not interview Capo. After reading the Tampa Bay Times, we surmised we didn’t miss much.
Crist is knowledgeable, hardworking and passionate about our community. He is a strong advocate of historic preservation and helped create an ongoing program to give grants for the preservation of the area’s historic jewels.
Crist can surprise you by taking strong positions you wouldn’t expect. He can also frustrate you by changing positions midstream.
La Gaceta endorses Victor Crist for County Commission District 5 in the Republican primary.
County Commission District 7
Republican Primary

Neither Todd Marks nor Aakash Patel want to commit on issues except no new taxes, but Patel is a little smoother in his duck, dodge and weave.
Marks offers himself as a typical conservative Republican and will see issues through a conservative lens. Conservative Republicans know what they get with Marks.
Patel, on the other hand, is a little too slick and polished and we are not sure Republicans will have a dependable standard bearer.
La Gaceta endorses Todd Marks for County Commission District 7 in the Republican primary.

From Chairman of the Bored, by Gene Siudut

► … While Shakespeare’s tragedies involve someone making a tragic error and not being able to overcome it, King Lear makes several. The slow build to chaos has no happy ending and must come to an end. There is no deus ex machina or savior of the day. The creators of the chaos are forced into a chaotic end.
The saying goes that truth is stranger than fiction. I guess we’ll find out if that’s true pretty soon.(to read more, buy a paper)

From O’Pinions To Go, by Joe O’Neill

► The dominoes keep falling.
It was disturbing – as well as embarrassing – to see Tampa nationally highlighted, as it were, as a media demonizing, Qanon-friendly venue for that vintage Donald Trump rally. No, it wasn’t a casting call for a “Deliverance” sequel. It wasn’t that nuanced. And it makes a back-in-the-day George Wallace rally seem relatively civil with its states’-rights code words and dog whistles that were meant to arouse an anti-elite movement well shy of a media-targeting lynch mob.
All presidents have had issues with those in a position to publicly criticize them. Of course, they did. It comes with the territory of being elected, being accountable, being political, being fallible and being part of a constitutional democracy with an iconic free speech amendment. If you can’t take the political heat, get the hell out of this sometimes-combative democracy’s kitchen. …(to read more, buy a paper)

From In Context, by Doris Weatherford

► I found a book with that title in my sister’s cabin last May and just now have finished it. Someone gave it to her before she went to Cuba near the end of the Obama administration, so I was surprised that “Resurrection in El Salvador” is the only Latin American country included. That’s typical of Rick Steves, the book’s author: If you watch his television documentaries, you know he doesn’t like the restricted tours that have been pretty much mandatory in Cuba. Of course, he originally made his living by guiding European tourists, but …(to read more, buy a paper)

From Silhouettes, an interview with Annette Masters, by Tiffany Razzano

► Ever since she was a child growing up in Clearwater, Annette Masters has been drawn to the written word.
Her mother was an avid reader, and shared this passion with her daughter. “She always had a book in her hand,” Masters said. “I remember she told me she had insomnia from reading Stephen King (books) and couldn’t sleep. I thought that was ridiculous. How could a book scare you?”
So, she decided to read one of King’s books herself. “That’s when I realized how much power words had,” she said. “Books could change your life. Books could take you somewhere else.” …(to read more, buy a paper)

From Líneas de la memoria, por Gabriel Cartaya

► … Te has presentado en diferentes escenarios artísticos, en América Latina, Estados Unidos, Europa, frente a diversas culturas y lenguas. ¿Cómo ha sido tu identificación con el auditorio?
Debido a que me eduqué en Estados Unidos, me identifico más con el público estadounidense, aunque sería ingrato no reconocer a la América Latina, pues me abrió las puertas al éxito.
Te cuento, sin ostentación, que fueron muchos escenarios donde logré éxitos: en el legendario Copacabana de Nueva York, el Hotel Walldorf Astoria, presentación de Año Nuevo en NBC TV con Neil Sedaka, Pat Boone, y la Orquesta de Guy Lombardo; en los hoteles Sands y Hacienda en Las Vegas, en el precioso Casino París, en Francia, en fin la lista es extensa.
También has tenido éxitos en programas para la televisión como “Tonight Show” y “Kraft Music Hall”. Una canción tuya, “No te quieren para mí”, fue tema musical de la telenovela de ese mismo nombre. ¿Qué nivel de realización y satisfacción sentiste en este medio?
Creo que el estar en el lugar adecuado, al lado de personas importantes y en el momento oportuno condujeron a esa realización y satisfacción. Fui número de apertura para la genial comediante Phyllis Diller y por su contacto logré hacer el programa “Tonite Show”, con Johnny Carson, al igual que otros programas estelares de la televisión estadounidense; el productor argentino Aldo Legui, señor que hizo producciones y descubrió a “Los Cinco Latinos” y Sandro, me ofreció producir un disco.Uno de los temas de ese álbum es de la autoría de Armando Manzanero, “No te quieren para mi” y mi versión fue utilizada en la novela del mismo nombre, que también fue producida por el señor Legui. En fin, todo eso trae grandes satisfacciones. …(to read more, buy a paper)

From Briznas culturales, por Leonardo Venta

► … Horus, una de las mayores divinidades egipcias, se solía representar de diferentes formas. Una era la de un niño con el dedo colocado sobre los labios. Los griegos le adoptaron, llamándole Harpócrates, dios del secreto y la discreción, al interpretar la postura del dedo como un gesto que indicaba silencio.
San Agustín llamó dios grande del Silencio a Harpócrates, y la Décima Musa de México, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, hace buen uso de su significado alegórico (ver y escuchar, pero mantenerse callado) en su más significativa pieza lírica, Primero Sueño: “(…) con indicante dedo, / Harpócrates, la noche silencioso; a cuyo, aunque duro, / si bien imperïoso / precepto, todos fueron obedientes”. En Harpócrates, confluyen la condición de silencioso con la representación de la noche, imagen que bosqueja la atmósfera misteriosa de las sombras, el dominio donde mora el pensamiento. …(to read more, buy a paper)

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