A Historic Victory for Tampa’s New Mayor

April 24, 2019

Tuesday marked another exciting milestone in Tampa’s history when voters overwhelmingly elected Jane Castor as our next mayor. Mayor-elect Castor will be the city’s first LGBTQ mayor and the only LGBTQ woman leading a major city in the Southeast, proving, as she said in her victory speech, that Tampa “celebrates its diversity and lifts everyone up in a positive way.” Hopeful words for a hopeful future.


Throughout her campaign, Mayor-elect Castor demonstrated the leadership qualities that we have come to expect for our city’s chief executive: progressive yet pragmatic thinking, a deep understanding of the city’s greatest challenges as well as its best opportunities, and the resolve to tackle our transportation and affordable housing problems. In her 30+ years as a police officer and ultimately chief of police, Mayor-elect Castor got to know the city’s neighborhoods well and demonstrated that knowledge on the campaign trail. Perhaps most importantly, she has been highly visible and accessible – something that Tampa citizens have come to expect from their mayor as a result of Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s constant public presence during his two terms.


From an economic development perspective, we couldn’t be happier with Tampanians’ choice to lead the city. Jane Castor will have to pick up Mayor Buckhorn’s role of booster-in-chief for Tampa as we sell this market to fast growing companies, talent and the media. We’ll need her to inspire confidence in our prospects and help us to close deals. She’ll be the most visible and authoritative spokesperson for Tampa Bay in the national and international press – a job that Mayor Buckhorn performed exceptionally well. We believe she can, too.


We look forward to briefing her on the EDC and its new strategic action plan – which many of you are helping us to shape. As the EDC enters its second decade, there is so much more we have to achieve to help our region realize its fullest potential. Aligning our goals with Mayor-elect Castor’s vision for Tampa will ensure that we strengthen the successful collaboration we enjoy with our city and county partners.


Thank you, Mayor Buckhorn, for eight great years…and welcome, Mayor-elect Castor! The future of Tampa is in great hands.


– Craig Richard