David Straz Says He Won't Take Mayor's Salary If Elected, Says Jane Castor Shouldn't Either
Tampa mayoral candidate and millionaire David Straz said he wouldn't accept a salary if elected. And he said his opponent Jane Castor shouldn't either.
In a TV ad released Thursday, Straz accused Castor of "double-dipping."
The ad shows the former Tampa police chief holding an ice cream cone with two scoops to demonstrate her receiving a pension and a salary.
Straz spoke to WUSF Friday and criticized Castor for money she received in 2014 when she accepted Mayor Bob Buckhorn's request to stay on as police chief for an extra year after she was supposed to retire.
She ended up earning a salary while also collecting her annual pension. She will continue to receive that pension if she becomes mayor.
"Now she wants to get $160,000 dollars as a mayor’s salary, that's simply too much," he said.
The Castor campaign shot back, saying she earned her pension after years of serving on the police force.
Her campaign also pointed to Straz' multi-millionaire lifestyle as proof “he is out of touch with people who have to work for a living."
The two candidates have discussed their platforms in the same room together once since the initial election on March 5, during a forum hosted by the Hillsborough County Democratic Black Caucus.
Castor agreed to take part in eight debates before the runoff election on April 23.
Straz, who chose not to attend a couple other debates this month, has agreed to participate in three in April.
"I feel the electorate is tired of all these debates and they don't want so many,” he explained. “And frankly some of these debates only attract 50 citizens."
Straz said he hosted a telephone forum by himself Thursday that had thousands of listeners and said that is a better way to reach voters.
Two of the debates he will attend with Castor in April will be televised and another will air on the radio.
His campaign was criticized earlier this month for claiming most of the tickets made available online for the April 11 Bay News 9 debate.
They have since returned those tickets.