Although the results of the Apr. 25 City of Tampa Municipal runoff elections have been known for about a month as you’re receiving this, I know that no other local media has told you how the candidates fared in New Tampa’s 22 voting precincts in the three citywide (or “at large”)City Council runoff elections.
No, there was no runoff in the race for Tampa Mayor, as Jane Castor was elected to a second term by about 81%-19% over write-in candidate (and New Tampa resident Dr. Belinda Noah in the Mar. 7 Municipal Election.
New Tampa’s local District 7 Tampa City Council member Luis Viera also was officially reelected because he had no opponent on Mar. 7.
However, four City Council races had to be decided at the runoff election on Apr. 25, including in single-member Dist. 6, but New Tampa residents were not allowed to vote in that race.
On the other hand, New Tampa voters were asked to help decide the winners of the three citywide races — Alan Clendenin over Sonja Brookins in Dist. 1, Guido Maniscalco over Robin Lockett in Dist. 2 and Lynn Hurtak over Janet Cruz in Dist. 3 — but very few of you went to the polls.
In fact, while citywide voter turnout for the runoff election was an abysmal 10.76%, New Tampa’s turnout was even worse, as only about 7% of the nearly 35,000 registered voters in zip code 33647’s 22 precincts cast a ballot, whether in-person, by mail, early or provisional.
Even so, there were a couple of interesting results from the runoff, as Clendenin — who beat Brookins by 64.5%-35.5% citywide — did not fare quite as well in New Tampa, where he won by a 62.1%-37.9% margin in New Tampa, winning 12 of the 21 local precincts.
Meanwhile, Maniscalco — who topped New Tampa resident Robin Lockett 61.9%-38.1% citywide — still beat Lockett by a 60%-40% split in her home districts, despite each candidate earning more votes in 11 of the 22 districts.
The surprise of the citywide runoffs was that the incumbent in citywide Dist. 3 Lynn Hurtak beat former State Senator Janet Cruz 60.3%-39.7%, who outraised Hurtak in campaign contributions by more than 2-to-1 ($215,000+-$106,000), so easily. The other surprise was that the trend was reversed in New Tampa, as Cruz won 16 of New Tampa’s 22 districts and by a total margin of 52.4%-47.6%.
I have nothing to attribute Cruz’s local win to, other than the fact she ran ads in this publication, while Hurtak did not (only half-kidding). Take note, future candidates!