Tampa runoff results: Hurtak keeps seat, Clendenin wins District 1
The results of Tampa's runoff election, in which four City Council races were contested, are in.
Why it matters: The four seats will help determine the extent of Mayor Jane Castor's influence on City Council for the next four years.
Alan Clendenin secured a decisive victory over Sonja Brookins to become Tampa's first openly gay City Council member.
Catch up quick: Clendenin came out as the leading candidate in the March 7 election, finishing ahead of Brookins and incumbent Joseph Citro, who came in third place despite an endorsement from Castor.
- But, even with his strong showing, Clendenin failed to amass enough votes to win outright and evade a runoff. Still, he maintained a significant fundraising advantage over Brookins, who raised fifteen times less than him, per the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections.
- Clendenin campaigned on opposing the Castor administration's proposal to turn wastewater into drinking water, which critics called "Toilet to Tap."
Guido Maniscalco, a council member representing District 6, won a citywide seat in District 2, defeating progressive organizer Robin Lockett.
- Maniscalco, a Tampa native of Cuban and Italian descent, swapped districts because of term limits. He was first elected to the City Council in 2015 and again in 2019.
- He out-fundraised his opponent.
In a nail-biting finish, incumbent City Council member Lynn Hurtak staved off a challenge from former state Sen. Janet Cruz, who lost her statewide office in last year's midterm election.
Between the lines: Hurtak has been a consistent thorn in Castor's side since she was appointed to the seat by the council last year.
- Cruz raised over $200,000 for her bid for the District 3 seat, roughly double Hurtak's totals. But the Cruz political operation's lockstep with the mayor may have cost her the election.
Of note: The final stretch of the race between Hurtak and Cruz became particularly nasty.
- Tampa Bay-area Republicans made an unlikely alliance with Hurtak to derail Cruz's campaign, releasing seething digital ads against the former state senator. Cruz deployed campaign mailers attacking Hurtak.
What they're saying: "It's a win for the people," Hurtak told Axios. "People have said they want accountability, and I do my homework, I listen to what people say, I don't go along, to get along."
- "I just called my opponent to wish her well on the next four years on the Tampa City Council," Cruz tweeted Tuesday night. "I look forward to seeing Tampa continue to grow and prosper."
Charlie Miranda, who first entered Tampa's political scene in 1974, beat out attorney Hoyt Prindle to clinch a ninth term on the City Council.
- In the first round of voting, Miranda almost got the votes he needed to claim the new District 6 seat, covering mostly West Tampa along with parts of Seminole Heights and South Tampa.
- Miranda left his District 2 seat due to term limits.
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