Mar 7, 2023 - News

Fox News tunes into Tampa Bay

Illustration of the Fox News logo on a beach ball.

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Cuban sandwiches and Hyde Park brunches are bringing the Fox News crowd to Tampa — and their presence could impact much more than our menus.

Driving the news: "Fox and Friends" will broadcast live from Tampa's Goody Goody Burgers Wednesday morning, where co-host Brian Kilmeade will speak with diners about state news.

Why it matters: Tampa is a blue city, so much so that Democratic Mayor Jane Castor doesn't have an opponent in today's election. But tides are turning, and a red wave could change Tampa Bay's political environment for good.

The big picture: Pinellas County, deeply Democratic for years, and Hillsborough County both flipped red this past November.

  • Hillsborough elected two GOP newcomers to replace popular Democrats as county commissioners and voted red for governor, senator, all statewide offices and in every close state legislative race.
  • In Pinellas, his home county, Charlie Crist lost his bid for governor by 10 points. And the board of commissioners flipped majority red after Democratic county Commissioner Pat Gerard, who ran unopposed in 2018, lost her race for a third term by 8 points to another fresh-faced Republican, Brian Scott.

Flashback: ​​Tampa was found to be the second-most desired place Republican college students want to live after graduation in last year's Axios-Generation Lab Next Cities Index.

What they're saying: Kilmeade tells Axios he's excited to return to Goody Goody after doing a segment at the restaurant in 2021. " The Tampa Bay voices and perspectives we heard in 2021 were so important, and we are looking forward to hearing from them again.”

The bottom line: With the influx of young Republicans, and now the mainstream Fox crowd, Tampa Bay may not be blue for much longer.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with the correct pronoun for Pat Gerard, who is a woman.


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