Ed Turanchik launched his bid for Tampa Mayor in style.
The Tampa attorney/developer/transit activist raised more than $155,000 through the end of March, as well as drawing more than 500 people to a campaign kickoff event held last week.
“I am thrilled and humbled by the support our campaign has received,” Turanchik said Tuesday. “We have raised more campaign contributions in two months than we raised during my entire 2011 bid for mayor.”
Turanchik’s entry is among the earliest in the recent history of Tampa mayoral politics; nevertheless, several other candidates are expected to announce, giving incentive for a quick start. Former Police Chief Jane Castor, philanthropist David Straz and City Council members Mike Suarez and Harry Cohen are also expected to enter the race, which won’t take place for another year. Businessman Topher Morrison has already announced his candidacy.
At the April 2 kickoff, held in Tampa’s historic Armature Works, Turanchik was surrounded by an audience of hundreds of family, friends and supporters.
Among those listed on the host committee included Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp and School Board Member Tammy Shamburger, along with former public officials like County Commissioner Joe Chillura, state Senator Jim Hargrett, state Rep. Elvin Martinez Sr. and Tampa City Council member Linda Saul Sena.
At the event, Turanchik told the crowd he was “reaching as far, as high as we can to aspire to become a great 21st Century American city that provides prosperity for all of us.”
“This is a campaign of unity, a campaign of Democrats and Republicans, conservatives and liberals, people from all walks of life, incomes and orientations,” Turanchik added. “We want to be the city we can be.”
Turanchik’s platform is based on three key local issues: housing, innovation and transit.
“They’re already a ‘HIT’ with people,” Turanchik said at the kickoff. In order for everyone to succeed, Turanchik said, Tampa needs a strong public education system, pledging to work with the School Board and other major educational institutions to improve schools.
A clip of Turanchik’s remarks is on the campaign’s Facebook page.
The $155K total includes money raised through both Turanchik’s campaign and political action committee.
“Tampa is blessed with a long history of leaders who have worked to get us where we are today,” Turanchik said. “I look forward to the coming month as we discuss how we can build on this legacy and make Tampa an even better place to live, work and play.”