Early voting started Friday and will continue through Oct. 7 for a pair of special elections
From the Buzz: Loser of the Week: Democratic consultant Mitch Kates. No Tampa Bay political consultant in recent years has received more glowing publicity than Kates. The former professional wrestler was the architect behind the winning campaigns of state Sen. Charlie Justice, Tampa City Council member Mary Mulhern, and Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner. This year he landed St Pete mayoral candidate Scott Wagman, who pumped in more than $170,000 of his own money and far outspent everyone else. Kates put heavy emphasis on social networking and fancy Internet bells and whistles and with stunning tackiness publicly laughed at Kathleen Ford and Bill Foster for waving campaign signs — days before they won and Kate’s candidate finished in fourth place.