Bob Buckhorn Endorses Jane Castor For Mayor
Jane Castor spent the first day after her near-win in the race for Tampa mayor picking up a key endorsement.
It was no surprise, because the endorsement came from Bob Buckhorn. The former police chief and the soon-to-be-former mayor stood shoulder to shoulder at Water Works Park on the Hillsborough River.
"This is about passing the torch to someone who's prepared," Buckhorn said. "This is about making sure that the foundation that we've laid over the last eight years and the momentum that we've built is not destroyed. It's that we are not distracted, that the next mayor is going to be someone who's going to unite people, not divide people."
Buckhorn then alluded to the endorsement he got from his predecessor, former Mayor Pam Iorio.
"I didn't work this hard for this long to allow what has occurred here over the last eight years to be destroyed," he said. "In my mind, there's only one person who's capable of carrying that torch to the next level, and doing better than I did - as I tried to do better than Mayor Iorio - and that's Jane Castor."
Castor got 48 percent of the vote, and will be in the April 23 runoff with second-place finisher David Straz.
The businessman replied quickly to the mayor's endorsement, sharing a 2011 press release from Buckhorn's campaign touting Straz's endorsement.
"I have great respect for him and I would hope that he would share that same feeling about me," Straz told reporters Wednesday afternoon.
Straz set the tone for the runoff on election night, criticizing Castor's defense of red light cameras and possible racial profiling of bicyclists. He replied Wednesday to critics who accused him of negative campaigning.
"If there are things that come up that are negative, as long as they're truthful and honest, I think that's perfectly alright," he said.
Straz added that he wasn't surprised by the endorsement, saying there's what he called "a good old boy network" in City Hall.
Nearly 21 percent of the city's voters cast a ballot in Tuesday's election. Here are the unofficial results from the Hillsborough Supervisor of Elections office: