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Tampa mayor compares GOP, Dem conventions; rules out 2014 run for governor

by George Bennett | September 5th, 2012

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who as leader of the host city for last week’s Republican National Convention was the only Democrat to speak during the gathering, kept things nonpartisan while thousands of Republicans boosted his local economy.

Here, however, Buckhorn is a Democratic National Convention delegate and free to speak his partisan mind.

“As the only Democrat that spoke at the Republican convention, I was looking for the trap door when I got up there on stage. Because I figured if I said anything that sounded anything like ‘hope’ or ‘change’ I was going down. God forbid if I had said “President Obama” — they would have ejected me out of that place,” Buckhorn joked to a Florida delegation breakfast.

“Those were our fellow Americans over there in Tampa last week and they just happened to have a different opinion on things….What I didn’t see (in Tampa) is what I saw last night in the hall. What I didn’t see was an arena that looked like America,” Buckhorn said of the more racially diverse Democratic crowd.

Buckhorn, elected in 2011, is touted as a future star in the Florida Democratic Party. But he said he plans to serve his full four-year term and not run for governor in 2014.

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