Frank Reddick & Lisa Montelione automatically win re-election in Tampa City Council races

race with no competition

The field is set for this winter’s municipal elections in Tampa, and there will be no contests in two races.

Lisa Montelione in District 7 and Frank Reddick 5 did not have anybody qualify against them by the noon deadline, and thus they have been re-elected for four more years.

Here’s how it looks overall.

District 1 — (citywide) — Incumbent Mike Suarez will face Seminole Heights activist Susan Long.

District 2 — (citywide) — Charlie Miranda, Julie Jenkins, and Joe Citro face off in a seat vacated by Mary Mulhern. There are no true “incumbents” running, but Miranda is coming off of eight years of serving on the Council representing District 6.

District 3 — (citywide) — Incumbent Democrat Yolie Capin will be challenged by community activist Paul Ermi.

District 4 — (South Tampa) — Incumbent Harry Cohen squares off against South Tampa businessman Kent King.

District 5 —  (East Tampa, Ybor City, Seminole Heights) — Incumbent Frank Reddick has won re-election. Nobody else in the field qualified.

District 6 — (West Tampa, parts of Seminole Heights) — The other race that has no incumbent. Republican engineer Jackie Toledo is running against West Tampa businessman Guido Maniscalco & businessman Tommy Castellano, who was the first person in Tampa to announce his candidacy for City Council over a year ago.

District 7 — (North Tampa, New Tampa) — Democratic incumbent Lisa Montelione has also won re-election. The only man who filed to run against her, former District 7 councilman Joe Caetano, did not qualify.

An interesting question will be how significant voter turnout is for the March 3 primary. Although Bob Buckhorn does have an opponent, it’s a write-in candidate, Jose Vazquez, with a sketchy past. That may prevent a certain percentage of voters from going to the polls, something the mayor addressed earlier this week (when it appeared he might have not any challengers).

“Anytime there’s a contested mayor’s race on the ballot it drives turnout up, that’s the premiere race, that’s the race that most people pay attention to, that’s the race that the most money is spent on, so turnout tends to go up. Without the mayor’s race on the ballot, you will see a lower turnout. But the folks who will turn out are the folks who pay attention, so you’re going to get a very educated, very informed electorate who I think have proven to make good choices.”

That could augur well for the challengers in the District 2 and District 6 races, who may not have to target as many voters in order to at least get in a runoff against the better known candidates in those two contests, Charlie Miranda and Jackie Toledo.

Mitch Perry

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at [email protected].


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