Equality Florida Action PAC Spotlight Candidate Jane Castor Heads to Tampa Mayoral Runoff with Defining Momentum
Tampa, FL - Jane Castor, Equality Florida’s top spotlight candidate of 2019, is one step closer to making LGBTQ history as Tampa’s first out lesbian mayor. Castor garnered 48% of the vote, coming in first in a crowded field of 7 candidates, and will head to a runoff election on April 23rd where she will face wealthy businessman David Straz.
If elected, Castor will be the first openly LGBTQ person to lead one of Florida’s five largest cities, only the fourth openly LGBTQ woman to hold the post of mayor in Florida, and the only LGBTQ woman leading a major city in the Southern US.
“The results of yesterday’s election prove that Jane is the indisputable frontrunner for Mayor of Tampa,” said Equality Florida Senior Political Director Joe Saunders. “Electing a strong, seasoned and tested leader like Jane to one of Florida’s most influential local posts is a game changer for LGBTQ Floridians. Equality Florida Action PAC’s members, supporters, and donors showed up to support Jane and in April we’ll do it again.”
Tampa voters also overwhelmingly supported a measure that adds LGBTQ protections to the city’s charter. With the passage of Amendment 16, the charter now provides protections on the basis of “sexual orientation, color, pregnancy, age, marital status, familial status, disability, gender identification, genetic information and ethnicity”.
“Updating the city’s nondiscrimination policy sends a clear message that no one should be denied opportunities in Tampa because of who they are, how they worship, where they come from, or who they love,” said Saunders.
Tampa is Florida’s 3rd largest city and home to one of the largest LGBTQ populations in the South. Equality Florida Action PAC ran a major primary election program to engage 30,000 pro-equality voters in the including mobilizing volunteers, an aggressive digital program and thousands of phone calls to educate Tampa voters about the stakes in this election.
Equality Florida Action PAC endorsed incumbents and first-time candidates swept a number of other races. Tampa Council members Charlie Miranda, Guido Maniscalco and Luis Viera won reelection in District 2, 6 and 7. Bill Carlson won the open race for Tampa Council District 4 and John Dingfelder for Tampa Council District 3 will be heading to the April run-off elections.