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Jane Castor cruises to her second term as Tampa mayor, while runoffs are coming for city council

Building exteriors in a downtown city skyline. The building in the foreground is covered windows.
Thomas Iacobucci
WUSF Public Media
While Tampa Mayor Jane Castor cruised to a second term in Tuesday's municipal elections as expected, the candidates she backed for city council didn't do as well.

Only one of the Tampa City Council candidates endorsed by Jane Castor won, even as the mayor easily won reelection.

While Tampa Mayor Jane Castor cruised to a second term in Tuesday's municipal elections as expected, the candidates she backed for city council didn't do as well.

Castor got 80% of the vote, with one-fifth of the voters casting a ballot for an unnamed write-in candidate.

In one of the most closely watched races for city council, Castor nemesis Bill Carlson defeated Blake Casper — who received the mayor's endorsement — 59% to 41%.

While former state Sen. Janet Cruz, the mother of Castor's partner, was trailing incumbent Lynn Hurtak, the race for District 3 will go to a runoff, as neither candidate got more than 50%.

Only one of the candidates endorsed by the mayor won. Gwen Henderson defeated embattled incumbent Orlando Gudes in majority black District 5. Gudes stepped down as council chair a year ago amid claims he sexually harassed a former employee.

Castor ally Joseph Citro was defeated in the race for District 1. The two top finishers, Alan Clendenin and Sonja Brookins, will face off in the April 25 runoff.

Incumbent Guido Maniscalco will face Robin Lockett in District 2. Former councilman Mike Suarez finished out of the running.

And longtime councilman Charlie Miranda polled just under 50 percent, and will be in a runoff with attorney Hoyt Prindle for District 6.

Here's some details for the upcoming runoff:

2023 City of Tampa Municipal Runoff Election

  • Deadline to register: March 27 (Only registered voters living in the City of Tampa are eligible to vote in this election.)
  • Early Voting: April 17 - April 23, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • Election Day: April 25, 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Statement from Castor:

“I am honored and humbled to be re-elected Mayor of our great city. I am so grateful for the support, trust and enthusiasm of so many residents who appreciate the direction Tampa is heading.

“Together, we have achieved so much over the past four years. We have made significant progress in building a stronger, safer, and more equitable Tampa. We have invested in our neighborhoods by protecting our tree canopy, increasing access to recycling, making our roads safer by focusing on traffic calming measures like crosswalks to classrooms.

“We have upgraded our parks to ensure they are accessible to all and are revitalizing our infrastructure through projects like P.I.P.E.S – all while being laser-focused on sustainability that lasts for generations.

“We have also worked tirelessly to create jobs and opportunities for all residents by launching programs like Bridges to Business, Signing Day, Apprenticeship Ordinance, and a workforce council to name a few 

“But our work is far from over. As we move forward into the next four years, we must continue to be bold and build on our successes and confront the new challenges that lie ahead. We must continue to prioritize public safety, smart economic growth, and environmental sustainability. We must continue to listen to the voices of all our residents and ensure that every member of our community has a seat at the table.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as your Mayor once again, and I am committed to working tirelessly alongside city council members and our public and private partners every day to make Tampa an even better place to live, work, and raise a family. Together, we will continue to build a city that we can all be proud to call home.”

Steve Newborn is a WUSF reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.
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