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Bob Buckhorn: It was Hillsborough, not Tampa, which voted to keep Confederate monument

“Confederate monument in Tampa will stay put” was the headline by a published on CNN’s website on Wednesday, shortly after the Hillsborough County Commission voted 4-3 to keep a statue of a Confederate soldier in front of the annex of the county courthouse located in downtown Tampa.

“Officials in Tampa decide not to move Civil War monument,” was the headline in the Washington Post.

“Tampa leaders won’t remove Confederate Monument,” read the headline in the Orlando Sentinel.

On Thursday, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn wanted to make sure everybody knows that it was the government of Hillsborough County – and not the city he runs – that made that controversial vote.

“There is no honor in treason and there is no valor in enslaving people because of their race,” said the mayor. “That statue represents the worst of humanity not the Tampa that we aspire to be. This decision doesn’t speak for our city and the people that I represent.”

The board’s 4-3 vote on Wednesday has angered many parts of the community, and made the region somewhat of an outlier from what other metropolitan areas that Tampa compares themselves have done with Confederate monuments of late. As CNN reported, “It was a rare negotiated outcome in the national debate over the place of divisive Confederate memorials.

On social media on Thursday, angry citizens noted that all four commissioners who supported the proposal to maintain the monument – Stacy White, Victor Crist, Ken Hagan and Sandy Murman – are all running on the 2018 ballot, and they vowed retribution at the polls.

That remains to be seen, however.

Hagan is running (again) in District 2, the Northern Hillsborough County Commission seat that has been maintained by Republicans for years. He’s also already raised over $200,000 in that race.

White is running for reelection in District 4, the eastern Hillsborough County seat that is considered the most conservative region of the county.

Crist and Murman are running in Districts 5 and 7, respectively, both countywide seats where theoretically they could be challenged by a strong Democratic challenger.

Written By

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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