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Orlando Gudes narrowly defeats Jeffrey Rhodes in East Tampa City Council match-up

The District includes downtown, Ybor City and parts of East Tampa.

Orlando Gudes pulled out a 51 to 49 victory over Jeffrey Rhodes in the Tampa City Council race for District 5.

The District includes downtown, Ybor City and parts of East Tampa.

Gudes is a retired Tampa Police officer and staunch proponent for youth development.

He founded the Unity Football Conference, a football and cheerleading league focused on athletic and scholastic achievement for underprivileged youth in 2005 and continues to serve as its executive director.

Gudes’ platform includes economic empowerment, affordable housing, jobs and youth development.

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Gudes raised more than double his challenger, but despite a steady fundraising lead, he finished second in the March 5 race two points behind Rhodes.

Rhodes is a Tampa native who serves as Director and Co-owner of Ray Williams Funeral Home.

He is involved in several professional, civic, community and social organizations. Rhodes is also a long time board member of Tampa Organization of Black Affairs (TOBA) where he is the political chair. He participated and helped organize Souls to the Polls, Voter Registration and several Political Forums along with the NAACP.

Rhodes’ platform includes equitable public transportation, economic development and neighborhood preservation.

Gudes will replace Frank Reddick on the Council. He’ll be sworn in with four other new council members, a returning council member and two incumbents May 1.

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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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