Bob Buckhorn’s first re-election campaign ad; glimpse of something more?

bob buckhorn swagger ad 2

After years of a struggling economy, Tampa’s “swagger” has returned, says the first digital ad for Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s re-election effort.

The 60-second spot – appropriately called “Swagger” – will hit the airwaves starting Tuesday, offering some of Buckhorn’s successes, but also a few hints of something more.

It is an energetic, boastful message from a candidate whose accomplishments resulted in Buckhorn now running unopposed.  His only real challenger, local activist Becky Rubright, dropped out of the race before it even began.

Working with Buckhorn, says the ad’s female narrator, Tampa “shook off the recession with explosive growth and progress … and America is noticing.”

Highlights include hizzonor’s regional successes, such as Tampa hosting the Republican National Convention (“they raved about us”), and expansion of Tampa International Airport, with new flights to South America and Europe. Also mentioned are how younger professionals are staying in the region – the state’s “best and brightest” — to raise families and bolster the economic base.

“Our future is as bright as the Florida sun,” the ad continues, adding that more than $2 billion of new projects are in the works for the region.

Tampa is moving, growing and prospering, all because Buckhorn balanced the city’s budget without raising taxes, and secured the highest possible bond ratings.

“Let’s keep Bob Buckhorn working,” the ad concludes, “and show Florida – and the nation — how it’s done.”

Clearly, the ad’s primary target is Tampa voters, but this commercial, particularly from an unopposed candidate filled with swagger, also seems to be geared to a much wider audience.

Perhaps one for future ambitions?

Phil Ammann

Phil Ammann is a Tampa Bay-area journalist, editor and writer. With more than three decades of writing, editing, reporting and management experience, Phil produced content for both print and online, in addition to founding several specialty websites, including His broad range includes covering news, local government, entertainment reviews, marketing and an advice column. Phil has served as editor and production manager for Extensive Enterprises Media since 2013 and lives in Tampa with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul. He can be reached on Twitter @PhilAmmann or at [email protected].


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