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Mayoral candidates promise clean, good time campaigns

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image Mary Boyd, Elijah Heath and Molly Blanton — will be seeking votes until September 28 in the form of dollars they eventually will donate to the community. Melody Jameson Photo

Competition to be mayor here is heating up, but don’t expect an advertising bombardment loaded with deliberate deceptions or bundles of self promotion cramming your mail box or multiple pleas for contributions through Pay Pal clogging your email.

By MELODY JAMESON

RIVERVIEW — Competition to be mayor here is heating up, but don’t expect an advertising bombardment loaded with deliberate deceptions or bundles of self promotion cramming your mail box or multiple pleas for contributions through Pay Pal clogging your email.

No way! None of these candidates is digging for dirt on their opponents. Any name calling among them is likely to be complimentary, most gentlemanly or lady like. And your contributions will stay local, doing much more than packing a pol’s war chest.

These candidates, in fact, are pledging nothing but campaigns of good, clean fun.

Make no mistake, though. They’re in it to win. Molly Blanton and Mary Boyd and Elijah Heath each wants to be Riverview’s next honorary mayor. And they’re out to entertain you, to wine and dine you, even to take you back to another era in order to get there.

The annual contest to pick the community’s next non-salaried mayor got underway a couple of weeks ago with the traditional hats –in-the-ring exercise staged each year by the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce. When the hat toss was over, Blanton’s, Boyd’s and Heath’s were in the ring and they had set in motion two months of non-stop amusement, hilarity and good-natured rivalry.

Their objectives are simple: generate the most votes at $1 each to emerge the victor. In this contest, however, even the losers are winners because funds raised by each are passed on to their chosen charities, said Tanya Doran, chamber executive director.

Blanton, Timucua District Executive for Boy Scouts of America Gulf Ridge Council, is planning a murder mystery dinner theater event on Saturday, September 1, as one of the highlights of her campaign, she said this week. “Murder At The Four Deuces” will unfold in a 1920s speakeasy with audience members possibly employing bribery or extortion or even elimination of a character as they endeavor to unmask the killer, while also enjoying a meal, she added. Ticket charges will be $27 for a single, $47 for a couple and the speakeasy doors will open in the Winthrop Barn playhouse on Bloomingdale Avenue, Blanton noted.

The scouting executive and her campaign staff also are making plans for a number of other events during the 60-day race, including a day canoe trip and a “Be A Scout Day” complete with archery, hiking and campfire s’mores, plus a Riverview Restaurant Crawl.

Blanton, who will be donating her charitable funds to support boy scout programs in South Hillsborough, can be reached at mblanton@boyscouting.com.

Boyd, who can be found in her branch manager’s office at CI bank in Riverview when she’s not engaged in community efforts, kicks off her mayoral campaign on August 14 with a “Girls Nite Out.” The 5:30 to 7:30 PM event will feature a range of vendors offering items of particular feminine appeal, prizes for attendees plus wine and cheese for nibbling during the evening, she said this week.

Other activities are in the works, she added, but are not yet ready to be announced. Boyd’s charitable donations will go to A Kid’s Place in Brandon and to the YMCA’s Camp Cristina.

 Heath said this week he and his team are putting together a schedule filled with variety during August and September, beginning with a FishHawk-Riverview Rotary Club party at 6:30 p.m. on August 20. Subsequent August events in the making include “Hogs for a Cause” and a wine tasting, he added.

His September calendar, he noted, is filling up with a pub crawl around the first, a “Yappy Hour” near the 20th, followed by Casino Night at the Winthrop Barn now set for the 21st and a “Wet Willie Day” yet to be pinned down.

A financial advisor associated with the FishHawk office of Edward Jones, Heath is an active Rotarian and will channel his contributions to further the programs and scholarship fund of the Rotary Club of FishHawk Riverview Foundation.

As details about Heath’s events are firmed up, he said they will be posted on www.FishHawkRiverviewRotary.org.

Another approach to garnering the dollar votes in exchange for an enjoyable time with family and friends is a mutual movie night in which all three candidates participate, they noted. Plans for this cooperative occasion are being worked out, they indicated.

Whatever creative and tempting delights the candidates schedule in their efforts to raise monies for their charities, the 2013 mayor’s race ends at 4 PM on September 28, Doran said. Between that time and the chamber’s next membership meeting on October 23, the funds raised by each candidate will be tallied, half of each candidate’s dollar “ votes” going to the chamber and half prepared for his or her chosen beneficiary, the director added.

Announcement of the top vote getter is slated for the October membership session and that candidate formally will succeed current Riverview Honorary Mayor Lisa Kennedy at the chamber’s annual dinner in January.

During the new mayor’s 2013 term, from January through December, he or she will receive an advertising package giving his or her business exposure in the chamber newsletter and on its website at no charge, will take a seat on the chamber’s board of directors and will lead the membership’s Pledge of Allegiance at each monthly meeting, Doran added.

But the best rewards, she noted, just may be the cash gifts to the deserving local organizations that benefit so many more plus the thrill of friendly competitive challenges.

Copyright 2012 Melody Jameson

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