By B.C. Manion
Four candidates are squaring off this campaign season for the honor of placing a palm on “Green Eggs and Ham” and taking the oath of office.
Yes, it is that time of year again – when hopefuls step into the fray to seek the honorary title of Lutz Guv’na.
This isn’t the kind of campaign where you’ll be bothered by robo calls or be bombarded by endless negative ads.
There won’t be huge media events to announce endorsements in the race, or $40,000-a-plate benefits to generate campaign cash.
But this is a campaign where money talks.
The candidate who raises the most cash wins. It really is that simple.
That’s the way it has worked since 1991, when the tradition began.
And, the candidates do debate — although debate may be too strong of a word.
They mostly just try to figure out how to do outdo each other with clever jabs.
Indeed, this year’s hopefuls will be conducting a “candidate debate” during the Guv’na kickoff, which is set for 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. May 19 at the Old Lutz School House, 18819 US 41 N. Besides hearing from the candidates, event-goers also will be able to enjoy food, games and music.
Competing for the Dr. Seuss-style hat and red sash this year are Karin D’Amico, who is representing the civic association; Robin LeBlanc, proprietor of Good Behavior Dog Training; Brian Vindick, proprietor of Philly Cream of Tampa; and Connie Dorton, proprietor of the Dorton family.
They join an assorted cast of characters who have sought the coveted title of Lutz Guv’na through the years. In one contest, the competitors even included Sticky the Duck, according to published accounts.
While it’s called a race, the annual event actually is about pulling the community together for a host of fun events, which double as fundraisers. Typically, the candidates do flea markets, hold car washes or host spaghetti dinners, chicken dinners, luncheons and barbecues to raise cash for their campaigns.
Every cent they collect goes to support community causes.
Over the years, the proceeds have been used to purchase scouting tents, support scholarships, buy plants for a butterfly garden, support Little League teams and the Lutz volunteer fire department.