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Tampa Mayoral candidate Jane Castor opens west Tampa campaign headquarters.

Tampa Bay

Jane Castor opens West Tampa campaign headquarters

Tampa mayoral candidate and former Tampa Chief of Police Jane Castor opened her campaign headquarters Saturday in west Tampa.

The presumptive frontrunner in the crowded race launched her campaign’s home base at 3007 West. Cypress Street to a barrage of support.

“I am so glad for all of the folks that came out today to support our campaign for Mayor. We’re building a people-powered movement to win this race in March and make Tampa the city we deserve,” Castor said. “With our new headquarters in West Tampa, we’re more ready than ever to bring our message to every neighborhood and knock on every door in the months ahead.”

The campaign headquarters is in the same location state Senator Janet Cruz used for her campaign headquarters during her 2018 bid to unseat Dana Young.

Cruz is the mother of lobbyist and political consultant Ana Cruz, Castor’s longtime partner.

The strip building the headquarters is located in is owned by 3007 Cypress LLC, which is operated by Instruct, Inc., an Orlando-based commercial construction firm. Its executive leadership consists of Ryan Young, Richard Monroe and Matthew Cottichio.

None of those executives appear to have ties to the Cruz or Castor campaigns.

Castor has key support from incumbent Mayor Bob Buckhorn and broad name recognition from her service leading Tampa’s police department as its first female chief.

But she also came under fire during a televised debate last week for a policy she supported during her term as chief giving tickets to mostly low-income and minority residents over minor bicycling infractions.

Castor’s opponents criticized the policy as racist. She’s since taken responsibility for the policy she claims was well-intentioned, but ultimately a mistake.

Castor is considered the frontrunner in the eight-way race to replace term-limited Buckhorn.

The rest of the field includes philanthropist and retired businessman David Straz, former Hillsborough County Commissioner and Tampa attorney Ed Turanchick, former judge Dick Greco Jr., Tampa City Council members Harry Cohen and Mike Suarez, small business consultant Topher Morrison and community activist LaVaughn King.

Election Day is March 5 with a runoff, if necessary, scheduled for April 23.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a die-hard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and contentious issues surrounding transit. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also a devoted wife and mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder.

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