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Patrick Manteiga out at David Straz campaign

He said he had strategic differences in opinion with Straz’s lead consultant, Bill Fletcher.

Patrick Manteiga is no longer working for the David Straz campaign, he confirmed Thursday.

Manteiga, the publisher and editor-in-chief of La Gaceta, had been a member of Straz’s steering committee and was a trusted adviser to the candidate.

Speaking with Florida Politics, Manteiga said he left the campaign Tuesday. He explained there were strategic differences in opinion with Straz’s lead consultant, Bill Fletcher.

“There were some things that I wanted to do differently, and since he was the lead, I would have had to have done it his way,” Manteiga said. “I’m a stubborn kind of guy so I figured it might just be easier to leave.”

Manteiga said he still supports Straz for Mayor and, if asked by Straz or his wife, would continue to help the campaign in other ways.

The Straz campaign paid Bill Fletcher‘s Fletcher Ridge consulting firm $1.6 million throughout the campaign, according to finance records. That’s about half of Straz’s overall spending and the single largest collector of Straz’s self-funded campaign fund.

In a statement, the Straz campaign called Manteiga a “good supporter” and said he’s leaving the campaign on good terms. They also announced they were discontinuing use of the Political Victory Company for its campaign mail. That company is affiliated with Mantiega.

“Patrick remains a dear friend,” Straz said. “His knowledge of local neighborhoods and community issues has been an asset to the team.”

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a die-hard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and contentious issues surrounding transit. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also a devoted wife and mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder.

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