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Fourth time’s a charm: Joe Citro finally lands a spot on Tampa City Council

Citro is a regular face at City Council meetings and has participated on numerous boards and city initiatives.

Perennial Tampa City Council candidate Joe Citro will finally have his seat on the dais. The four-time candidate bested Walter Smith II for the District 1 seat Tuesday night in a 58 to 42 victory.

Citro, a hairdresser by trade, is a regular face at City Council meetings and has participated on numerous boards and city initiatives including work on the city charter, code enforcement and civil service boards.

Citro’s “CITY Plan to Put Tampa to Work” emphasizes careers, infrastructure, transportation and youth development.”

Citro finished first in the March 5 election with 31 percent of the vote, about 11 points ahead of Smith. He also had an advantage in fundraising. Citro raised $53,000 compared to Smith’s $18,000.

While Citro entered the runoff with an edge, he faced a potential hurdle collecting votes from voters who had previously supported losing candidates. That’s how Mayor Bob Buckhorn came from a distant second place finish in the 2011 Tampa Municipal Election to soundly beat Rose Ferlita who had been the frontrunner.

Citro also staved off a potentially crippling endorsement his opponent nabbed from former gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum.

Citro will replace Mike Suarez, who is leaving office because of term limits. He’ll be sworn in May 1 for the citywide district.

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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