Businessman and philanthropist David Straz put out a new campaign video Thursday outlining his vision for Tampa’s future as his campaign to take over as mayor gets fully underway.
In the two-minute video, Straz focuses on the city’s economy and doubles down on his experience as the only candidate in the crowded race “who has managed a large complex institution anywhere close to the size of the City of Tampa.”
“I’m David Straz. Since I announced my candidacy for Mayor, people have been asking me about my priorities,” he says in the video. “Here they are: Manage the budget with common sense and integrity. Grow the economy by creating jobs. And create a blueprint for Tampa’s future.
“As Mayor, I will focus on effective management of the city and its billion-dollar budget. We need a common-sense approach to protect our quality of life. That means focusing on people … not politics,” he continues.
Straz, a retired banker, expounds on his three-point plan later in the video, saying he’s a “proven job creator” who aims to foster business growth and lure new companies to Tampa. Toward the end of his policy outline, Straz says he wants to hear from his fellow Tampans on their priorities for Tampa’s future.
“I want to hear specific ideas from you on how we can protect and improve the quality of life in your neighborhood, keep our families safe and protect our environment,” he says. “As we go forward, I intend to listen to you as I develop a common-sense blueprint for Tampa’s future… a blueprint that reflects the hopes and dreams of the people of Tampa.”
The new video comes as Straz’ campaign, which has had ads on TV since mid-July, is set to hold an official kickoff event Friday evening at the El Circulo Cubano.
Straz is running in a crowded field of candidates looking to succeed two-term Mayor Bob Buckhorn next year. Also running for the seat are former Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor, City Councilman Harry Cohen, Sam Gibbons, Michael Hazard, LaVaughn King, businessman Topher Morrison, City Councilman Mike Suarez and former County Commissioner Ed Turanchik.
Though there’s six months to go before the March city election, Straz has already pumped more than $1.5 million into his campaign and has spent $484,000 thus far. In both fundraising and spending he leads all other candidates combined, though Castor, Cohen and Turanchick have all raised well over six figures for their campaigns.
The mayoral election is March 5, 2019. The new mayor will take office on April 1, 2019.
Straz’ video is below.