Redner to run for seat in House

June 15th, 2010 by

TAMPA – Strip club magnate and frequent political candidate Joe Redner, switching his sights from local to state government, has filed to run for the state House seat from Tampa’s District 58.

Redner, running as a no-party candidate, qualified for the ballot on the first day of qualifying for state offices Monday. So far, the only other candidate to file is the incumbent, Rep. Janet Cruz, a Democrat.

Redner, who’s about to turn 70, said he has run for office eight previous times, all for local government offices – Tampa City Council, Tampa mayor and Hillsborough County Commission.

He said he is not running because of dissatisfaction with Cruz. She won the seat in a special election in February after the previous occupant, Rep. Mike Scionti, was appointed to a post in the Obama administration.

“It’s my district and I want to run,” he said. “It has nothing to do with Janet Cruz.”

Redner said there’s no single issue he wants to concentrate on in the Legislature, but thinks the state needs to do more to control growth, expedite rail transportation and create a sustainable economy. He said he opposes offshore oil drilling, but believes it may be inevitable, and must be tightly controlled for safety.

He said his goals are to get people who are competent into state jobs and to “use good sense and wisdom and make a decision based on the facts on every piece of legislation.”

In the past, Redner, who is wealthy from ownership of the Mons Venus strip club and other business interests, has spent extensively of his own money on past campaigns, but said he doesn’t intend to spend much on this one. “All our problems stem from a bought Legislature,” he said.

The race could be difficult for Redner because the district, which includes much of West Tampa and Town ‘N Country, is heavily Hispanic and Democratic-leaning. It has long been represented by Hispanics.

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