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Where campaign relics spend their sunset years

By BRAD STAGEr
Special Correspondent
Published: November 26, 2014
COURTESY PHOTO
Joe Brown is co-owner of the Hong Kong Willie Florida art gallery near exit 266 and Interstate 75, which features Florida-themed art objects made from recycled and repurposed materials. He stands on “Rick Scott’s Ark,” a miniature vessel towed around the state during Charlie Crist’s unsuccessful bid for governor.

Every wonder what happens to old political props after the campaigns are over?

One notable item has washed up near Temple Terrace, at exit 266 of Interstate 75.

“Rick Scott’s Ark,” a miniature vessel towed around the state by supporters of Charlie Crist, now sits on the premises of the Hong Kong Willie Florida art gallery.

Joe Brown is co-owner of the art gallery, which features Florida-themed art objects made from recycled and repurposed materials such as lobster buoys.

He was asked by NextGen Climate Action, the group that owns the ark, for permission to park it there.

“It fits right in with what we’re trying to do here,” said the Tampa native.

The cost of the ark was part of the $12 million that billionaire-hedge-fund manager-turned-environmentalist Tom Steyer paid to assist Crist in his unsuccessful bid to unseat Gov. Scott.