Former Florida Governor and U.S. Sen. Bob Graham is endorsing Mike Suarez for Tampa mayor, Suarez’s campaign announced Tuesday.
“Mike will do what so many others promise but never deliver; a constant presence in their neighborhoods listening and responding to their needs,” Graham said. “As a former Governor and U.S. Senator, I know the importance of helping constituents navigate through government and know an informed and responsive Mayor can make the difference in helping citizens become active participants in their city government.”
Graham served in the U.S. Senate as a Democrat from 1987 through 2005. He was Florida’s 38th Governor, serving from 1979 through 1987. Graham is also the father of Gwen Graham who ran unsuccessfully for Governor last year.
Graham will be in Tampa all day Wednesday campaigning with Suarez.
“His leadership on the environment, our efforts to fight the war on terrorism and his dedication to protecting our elders, is what I admire about his service,” Suarez said. “His example of doing ‘Work Days’ throughout our state gave me a firsthand look at how listening is so important to serving our citizens and what I will emulate as Tampa’s next mayor.”
Graham will join Suarez at Open Cafe at 3222 N. 34th St. from 10:30 a.m. until noon where Graham will meet with east Tampa residents to discuss active senior living and how neighborhoods are important for a healthy lifestyle.
At 12:30 p.m. Graham will again meet with voters at Arco Iris Cafe at 4001 N. Habana Ave.
The two will do a television interview at Bay News 9 at 2:45 p.m. before heading to Buddy Brew Coffee on W. Snow Ave. at 3:30 p.m. to discuss general issues facing the Tampa Bay region and Florida.
Graham’s endorsement is a huge win for Suarez, who is running in a competitive race against several other candidates who have vast name recognition. Graham’s name adds to his own local notoriety as a sitting Tampa City Council member.
Suarez is facing a tough contest against former Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor, former Hillsborough County Commissioner Ed Turanchik, retired businessman David Straz, retired judge Dick Greco Jr., fellow City Council member Harry Cohen and small business consultant Topher Morrison.
The election is March 5 with a runoff scheduled for April 23.