U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, who represents Florida’s 14th Congressional District based in Tampa, is endorsing Harry Cohen for the District 1 seat on the Hillsborough County Commission.
Castor, who has served in the Tampa Bay area in the U.S. House since 2007, credits her support to Cohen’s environmental goals. In her endorsement, Castor also references her trust in Cohen to address the current COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic repercussions.
“I trust that he will work to responsibly manage our community’s growth, protect Tampa Bay and our natural environment, and mitigate the growing costs of climate change,” Castor said in a Monday statement.
Cohen’s platform addresses climate change threats to the Tampa Bay area like rising sea levels and flooding. The former Tampa City Council member also pledges to improve transportation and infrastructure, ancillary policies that aid in environmental protection.
Cohen is running for the District 1 seat against Jen McDonald, who is a South Tampa Chamber of Commerce board member and business owner in the Democratic primary. The winner will face the victor in the Republican primary — Scott Levinson or Tony Morejon.
Cohen is so far the top fundraiser in the race with nearly $127,000 in contributions. McDonald has raised nearly $49,000. Morejon leads the Republican side with nearly $48,000 compared to Levinson’s just under $13,000.
The seat, which includes South Tampa, Davis Islands, MacDill Airforce Base, a portion of downtown Tampa and other communities in the western part of the county, opened up after Commissioner Sandra Murman filed to run for District 6, challenging incumbent Pat Kemp. Murman is termed out of the District 1 seat.
The race is an opportunity for Democrats to claim another seat on the dais. If a Democrat wins and Kemp holds on to her seat, Democrats would have a 5-2 majority. They currently have a 4-3 majority.
Cohen most recently ran a campaign for Tampa Mayor in the 2019 election, but lost to Mayor Jane Castor, who he later endorsed.