TAMPA - Former Gov. Charlie Crist will hold his first Tampa fundraiser Sunday at the South Tampa home of Court Clerk Pat Frank.
The Sunday afternoon event has a host committee including numerous elected Democrats — the entire Tampa City Council, county commissioners Kevin Beckner and Les Miller and Property Appraiser Bob Henriquez — along with former Mayor Sandy Freedman, former University of South Florida President Betty Castor and husband Sam Bell, state Rep. Janet Cruz, former state Sen. Helen Gordon Davis and others.
A couple of notable absences from the host list — former U.S. Rep. Jim Davis and Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn.
Davis is not a fan of Crist since their bitter 2006 campaign for governor, and has spoken publicly of his hopes that Sen. Bill Nelson will get in the governor’s race.
Buckhorn has made ambivalent public statements about Crist. Asked Tuesday about his absence from the fundraiser, he said he was staying out because, “I’ve got a huge legislative agenda in Tallahassee this spring that is far more important to me than getting involved in partisan politics. I have to work with the sitting governor and the Republican-controlled Legislature.”