Yesterday, former Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor announced that she would be running for mayor in Tampa, reports Charlie Frago in the Tampa Bay Times. In 2009, she became Tampa’s first woman police chief, and the city’s first openly lesbian chief. She held that office until 2015.
Castor released a statement about her candidacy, in which she said, “Many Tampa residents know me as their police chief, where for six years I led the largest department with the largest budget in our City. Others know me as their neighbor and community advocate who has stood alongside them for the betterment of Tampa. We have accomplished so much, but there is still work to be done. I am running for mayor because our city needs a proven leader who will continue to celebrate our successes, while working with everyone to solve the important
challenges that lie ahead.”
Castor believes that her 31-year police career, in which she reorganized her department, worked with the city’s youth, and created outreach initiatives, has served as valuable experience for the office of mayor.
However, Castor’s work in the police department wasn’t all positive. In 2015, the Tampa Bay Times featured an article about a policy created by Castor that targeted primarily black bicyclists. Staff writers Alexandra Zayas and Kameel Stanley described the policy as “targeting poor, black neighborhoods with obscure subsections of a Florida statute that outlaws things most people have tried on a bike, like riding with no light or carrying a friend on the handlebars.”
Castor’s opponents in the mayoral race include former Hillsborough County Commissioner Ed Turanchik, Tampa City Council member Harry Cohen, Topher Morrison, and Michael Hazard. Council member Mike Suarez, philanthropist David Straz, and Downtown Partnership chairman Mickey Jacob are also rumored to be entering the race soon.
To read the Tampa Bay Times article, click here.