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Congresswoman Kathy Castor endorses Jane Castor for Tampa Mayor.

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Kathy Castor backs Jane Castor in Tampa mayoral race

“She knows every street, she knows every neighborhood.”

Florida congresswoman Kathy Castor is supporting the Tampa mayoral candidate who shares her name.

Castor announced her support for Jane Castor during a press conference Friday at Robert Saunders Library near downtown Tampa.

The two are not related, though they joked that people have often assumed they were.

“They were hoping there was another basketball player and then they would meet me and see that that’s not going to happen,” Kathy Castor joked about her time at Chamberlain High School as a younger student at the school both women attended.

Jane Castor, fueled in part by her height, was a standout basketball star. Kathy Castor is notably much shorter.

Joking aside, Congresswoman Castor said she’s supporting Jane Castor because she’s the candidate voters can trust to move the city forward.

“She knows every street, she knows every neighborhood, she is respectful of every single person and you can’t say that about very many people here,” Castor said of candidate Castor.

Congresswoman Castor said the location for her endorsement announcement was appropriate because Robert Saunders for whom the library was named was “one of the foremost civil rights leaders here in Florida.” Like Saunders, Kathy Castor said candidate Castor “has a vision for this great city.”

She said, as a HART bus roared past, that Jane Castor is the right candidate to ensure new revenue from the voter-approved All For Transportation tax is used effectively.

“We have an app now to mobilize this community in ways we’ve never been able to do before,” Congresswoman Castor said, adding candidate Castor also has a solid plan for job creation and affordable housing. “These are the keys to good jobs and prosperity here in the city of Tampa.”

The two Castor women have known each other for years. They worked together on issues surrounding public safety when Jane Castor was Tampa’s police chief.

“I look forward to working on a variety of issues moving our city forward, not the least of which is going to be sustainability and resiliency and looking at the effects of climate change on our community,” Jane Castor said. “The onus can’t be on one individual. We have to do this as a community with the help of Congresswoman Castor.”

The endorsement comes after several others have rolled in since the March 5 election including from LGBTQ groups and the Tampa fire union. Meanwhile, Castor’s opponent, David Straz, hasn’t announced a single endorsement since the municipal election.

The two face off April 23 in the runoff election. Mail ballots are already coming in. So far nearly 21,000 Tampa voters have cast a ballot.

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 Patch.com 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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