Gwen Myers qualifies for Hillsborough County Commission race by petition

Gwen Myers Headshot
Petition gathering presents a new challenge in the age of coronavirus.

Community leader Gwen Myers is the first candidate for Hillsborough County Commission District 3 to qualify by petition, a feat given social distancing restrictions in place amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Myers is running in a crowded field of candidates seeking to replace retiring Commissioner Les Miller.

Myers collected more than 2,000 signatures from Hillsborough voters and returned them to the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections office Monday by the noon petition deadline.

The Supervisor’s office has since certified those petitions.

“Being the first and so far only candidate to be on the ballot thanks to the signatures of the voters of District 3 speaks the broad, grassroots appeal of my campaign,” Myers said.  “I have spent my entire life serving this community, not as politician, but as a county housing and health care official and I think that experience along with my willingness to listen and help others is a big reason I’ll win this race.”

By qualifying by petition, Myers avoids the $6,041.10 qualifying fee, which is 6% of the position’s $100,685 annual salary.

Candidates qualifying by paying that fee must do so June 8-12.

Myers was an early and vocal supporter of the county’s All For Transportation tax, which could be important to supporters as the tax faces a Florida Supreme Court appeal. If plaintiffs are successful in that appeal, the County Commission could be tasked with approving a re-do for the ballot, which they’ve already been considering even as the case awaits a decision.

Myers also served on Tampa Mayor Jane Castor’s African American Advisory Council, the Hillsborough County Health Care Advisory Board, the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center Council, the Corporation to Develop Communities (CDC) of Tampa, as well as civic organizations like the League of Women Voters and the West Tampa Chamber of Commerce.

She was named Hillsborough County’s Volunteer of the Yer in 1992.

Myers leads the six candidate field in fundraising with more than $41,000 raised since she entered the race in January.

Former Tampa City Council member Frank Reddick trails by less than $200. Tom Scott, a local reverend who also served on Tampa City Council, has raised nearly $37,000.

Transportation activist Rick Fernandez has raised just over $20,000, but could be a force to be reckoned with having raised those funds in less than one month.

Sky White has raised just over $15,000 while Maura Cruz Lanz, the only Republican in the race for the blue district, hasn’t posted any fundraising activity, though she entered the race last week and won’t file campaign finance reports until next month.

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].


  • Dominique Cobb

    May 13, 2020 at 10:22 am

    I gwen Myers qualified back in January of 2020, pre COVID-19. The only candidate that has qualified by petition during COVID-19 was candidate Sky U. White as of Monday.

  • This article is not accurate. Myers qualified in January, BEFORE, social distancing was in place. The most recent candidate to qualify by petition was Skye White. That is recent and more appropriate news.

    May 13, 2020 at 10:42 am

    This article is misleading.

  • Lizz Cannon

    May 13, 2020 at 12:37 pm

    I am going to have to echo everybody else. The writer of this article really should be highlighting Sky White and the fact that she was able to qualify during Covid and Gwen qualified before hand.

Comments are closed.


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