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Tampa Mayor Candidate Castor Says She's Focused On Issues, Not Criticism

Castor campaign

Last week, Tampa mayoral candidates Jane Castor and David Straz faced off in their first debate since the the primary.

Straz, a businessman, focused much of his conversation on criticizing Castor's acceptance of campaign donations from a housing developer, the findings of a Tampa Bay Times investigation that showed a disproportionate number of black bicyclists fined during her tenure as the city's police chief, and more.   

Castor, who finished ahead of second-place primary finisher Straz,  said she's just focusing on the issues.

"I really can't comment on my opponent's strategy,” Castor said. “I'm just going to continue to focus on my vision and what the significant issues are for our community and just stay positive."

Castor said those issues include transportation, affordable housing and job creation.

The candidates face off again next month in a series of televised debates.

Only 20 percent of Tampa's registered voters turned out for the mayoral election earlier this month.

Voters age 66 and up were the largest participating age group by far with 17,255 votes cast. And residents in the 18-to-25 and 26-to-30 year-old demographic had the worst turnout with 3,123 votes.

Castor said younger voters need to get more involved in local elections.

"I'm 59. I'm going off into the sunset here," she said. "This is going to be your city. So it's imperative that you play a part in the future of the city that you - hopefully - will call home for the rest of your life."

Earlier this month, Castor got 48 percent of the vote in the race between seven candidates. She and Straz will face off in an April 23 runoff.

I took my first photography class when I was 11. My stepmom begged a local group to let me into the adults-only class, and armed with a 35 mm disposable camera, I started my journey toward multimedia journalism.
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