There are just a few hours remaining before the filing deadline to run for Tampa mayor and City Council in the March election.
At noon today the field of candidates will be locked, and the full-on campaign begins, such as it is.
The breaking news late yesterday is the fact that it appears that popular incumbent Mayor Bob Buckhorn will have an opponent this year after all. He’s little-known Jose Vazquez, who will be a write-in candidate.
All seven City Council seats are up for election, though five of those seats are held by incumbents who were initially elected in 2011: Frank Reddick, Lisa Monteleone, Mike Suarez, Harry Cohen and Yolie Capin.
Charlie Miranda in District 6 and Mary Mulhern in District 2 are term-limited out, but Miranda has already announced his intention to run for a new four-year term in Mulheron’s District 2 seat. Mulhern’s only option if she were hoping to remain on the council would be to run in the South Tampa District seat currently held by Cohen. Although she flirted with that possibility months ago, it doesn’t appear that will happen.
Could there be any more last-minute entrants? Not likely. With the elections taking place in less than seven weeks, it’s hard to believe any aspirant would get in so late and be successful.