Tampa mayoral candidates taking to the airwaves

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The election is March 5. A runoff, if necessary, will be held April 23.

Three of the candidates looking to succeed Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn made TV buys for the upcoming week.

According to media buying data provided to Florida Politics, former Tampa Police Cheif Jane Castor, current Tampa City Councilmember Mike Suarez and former County Commissioner Ed Turanchik have made their first TV buys of the cycle.

Castor’s flight rang in at $35,000. The buy covers Monday through February 3 and includes more than 2,500 airings of a 30-second campaign commercial. It will be broadcast to Spectrum customers on channels including AMC, BET, CNN, ESPN and VH1, among others. Her ads will hit Spectrum’s central and northwestern Hillsborough markets and satellite subscribers in the greater Tampa-St. Pete area.

Suarez spent just under $10,000 on his ad buy, which begins Saturday and also runs through February 3. He bought about 650 spots set to air on a similar lineup of channels, though his buy only covers Spectrum’s Central Hillsborough market.

Turanchik’s media campaign measured in at just over $13,000. His 450-spot run will begin Tuesday and last through February 4. His commercials will air on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and Bay News 9.

The ad buy details cannot be corroborated by the Federal Communications Commission ad database because of the ongoing federal government shutdown.

Castor, Suarez and Turanchik are running in a crowded field that includes Tampa City Council Member Harry Cohen, former judge Dick Greco Jr., small business consultant Topher Morrison and businessman David Straz. All of those candidates qualified ahead of the deadline and will appear on the March ballot.

Thus far, Straz’s campaign spent the most money thanks to the candidate’s personal wealth. He has tossed $1.5 million of his own money into the race thus far, dwarfing the efforts of his rivals.

Castor, Cohen and Turanchik have distinguished themselves in true fundraising, however, with each breaking the six-figure mark.

Castor has collected about $500,000 between her hard and soft money accounts, Turanchik has raised about $325,000 between his two accounts, and Cohen has raised about $300,000 between his campaign and Tampa Together political committee.

The election is March 5. A runoff, if necessary, will be held April 23.

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.



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