Stephen Lytle saved himself some cash in the Tampa City Council District 3 race Wednesday, qualifying by ballot petition.
The local activist and neighborhood association president is only the second of 36 filed candidates who have done so.
Candidates in Tampa municipal races have the option of either paying to qualify, or getting enough petition signatures from voters. Qualifying fees in the city of Tampa are 6 percent of a City Council member’s salary, which is about $2,700. To qualify by petition candidates must obtain 898 certified petitions.
Candidates sometimes choose to gather petitions to save money in their campaign coffers. Candidates also often use that method to show early support for their campaigns even though signing the candidate petition doesn’t necessarily mean that voter plans to vote for them.
“Qualifying by ballot petition is not an easy process, taking significant work and dedication to achieve,” Lytle said. “But my platform is anchored by sound fiscal policy. I believe candidates must actively demonstrate their conviction to the issues they champion and I have done that here today.”
None of Lytle’s three opponents qualified by petition. The deadline to do so was January 4. The remaining candidates — John Dingfelder, Vibha Shevade and Nicholas Glover and — must pay the qualifying fee by noon on January 18. Glover has not yet filed for the seat. He’s currently filed to run in District 2 but announced he was switching races after incumbent Charlie Miranda said he was seeking re-election.
Lytle is running to strengthen and empower neighborhoods and to improve infrastructure, he said.
Lytle said he’s the only candidate in his race who currently serves as a neighborhood association president and who has chaired the city’s Budget Advisory Committee, which gives him a unique ability to make decisions for constituents and helped him gather the necessary petitions to qualify.
“Together the citizens of Tampa can achieve more than any single person could ever do alone,” Lytle said. “It is time to work together and move Tampa forward.”
Lytle is also posting strong fundraising numbers. He’s raised more than $40,000. So far only Dingfelder has raised more with nearly $100,000 in contributions. However, $50,000 of Dingfelder’s campaign cash came from a personal campaign loan.