Tampa’s first black councilwoman endorses Harry Cohen for Mayor

Harry Cohen - Tampa City Council
"Harry Cohen has real plans, not slogans or empty promises."

Former Tampa City Councilwoman Gwen Miller is endorsing Harry Cohen for Mayor, she announced Friday.

“Harry Cohen has real plans, not slogans or empty promises,” Miller said in a statement.

“Harry has a plan to provide East Tampa with world-class transit and safe sidewalks. He has a plan to make our housing more affordable and attainable, and increase economic development in our community.”

Miller joins former Mayor Sandy Freedman, Hillsborough County Clerk of Courts Pat Frank and Hillsborough County Public Defender Julianne Holt in endorsing Cohen.

“As a member of Tampa City Council, Harry Cohen has delivered for East Tampa like no other candidate in the race for mayor. He’s worked hard to protect our after school programs for over 17,000 children, keeping thirteen community center and pools open until midnight during summer months,” Miller said.

“He played a crucial role in reopening Cuscaden and Williams Park pools. Harry Cohen’s hard work has resulted in over $35 million in funding for District 5 to rebuild parts of our stormwater system and prevent flooding.”

Miller served four terms on Tampa City Council and was the first African-American woman elected to the board. She served from 1995-2011. Miller is the wife of Hillsborough County Commissioner Les Miller.

Among other reasons, Miller said she supports Cohen for being a courageous leader affecting citywide reform on how marijuana offenses are handled.

Cohen introduced an ordinance that ultimately passed that decriminalized small amounts of marijuana and allowed those caught to receive civil citations rather than arrests that lead to criminal records.

Cohen is running in a heated seven-way race to replace Bob Buckhorn.

Opponents include former Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor, former Hillsborough County Commissioner Ed Turanchik, retired Judge Dick Greco Jr., retired banker David Straz, Tampa City Council member Mike Suarez and small business consultant Topher Morrison.

Election Day is March 5. The top two vote-getters will proceed to a runoff, if necessary, on April 23.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected].


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