TAMPA, Fla. — The results are in, and Tampa voters have chosen Jane Castor as their next mayor.
- Jane Castor voted new mayor of Tampa
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- DECISION 2019: Learn about the candidates | Elections News | Results
- Castor-Straz Trade Barbs In Debate
- LINK: Hillsborough County Board of Elections
Voters decided between former Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor, and billionaire philanthropist David Straz, Jr. at the voting booth Tuesday.
Castor ultimately had 73.1 percent of the vote, while Straz had 26.9 percent of the vote.
"No matter what obstacle was put in our way we remained positive and focused on the issues that mattered to voters," said Castor as she declared victory in the race.
Soon after Castor declared her victory, Straz conceded. He says he called mayor-elect Castor to congratulate her and pledge his support, saying he loves the city and wants her to succeed.
"I never dreamed how rewarding it would be to meet the hundreds and hundreds of people from all walks of life and to hear their stories, to have so many people believe in you is indeed a humbling experience," Straz said to his supporters.
Castor served 31 years at the Tampa Police Department, starting as a beat cop and working her way up to Police Chief.
She lists as some of her priorities creating a safer Tampa and managing the city's growth, transportation and economy.
Straz served as current mayor Bob Buckhorn's transition committee chairman eight years ago. The retired banker moved to Tampa Bay in 1980 and started building a network of community banks in Florida that eventually grew to 21 branches in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties.
Among the initiatives he said he'd tackle are budget management, job creation, affordable housing and minimum wage.
The two candidates have sparred in debates including an April 11 debate that aired on Spectrum Bay News 9.
During that debate, the topic of past cuts to the city budget drew different responses.
"We have cut to the bone on our personnel," Castor told the audience. "And if we cut any more there’s going to be a degradation in those stellar services that our citizens have grown accustomed to. We can not cut any more positions in this city."
Straz countered by asking what was cut in the budget.
"To say there is no fluff in the budget is indicating someone who doesn’t know what budgeting is," he said. "You can’t cut budget in the city for 8 years in a row, and have no fluff there. What did they cut?"
Straz said if he was elected mayor, he would work on finding that fluff in the budget and cutting it by 10 percent. Both candidates agreed they would not look at raising taxes.
Castor and Straz were the top two candidates in the first round of votes in March 5, out of seven candidates. Castor got 48.1 percent of the vote, and Straz got 15.5 percent of the vote. But the candidates needed to get at least 50 percent of the vote to win outright.