Kathy Castor endorses Whitney Fox’s congressional bid

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'Whitney Fox is a champion for affordable housing, better-paying jobs, and lower electric bills.'

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, the Democrat who represents Florida’s Tampa-based 14th Congressional District, is backing Whitney Fox in her bid for Florida’s 13th Congressional District on the other side of Tampa Bay.

The high-profile endorsement comes from a Democrat who has long served the region — including once in some parts of Pinellas County — since she was elected in 2006.

Castor is calling on voters to support Fox to establish unity and collaboration in the Tampa Bay region.

“Pinellas County deserves a representative who will focus on lowering costs for families and seniors, serving our veterans and countering the extremists who fuel chaos in Congress. I am thrilled to endorse Whitney Fox for Congress,” Castor said.

“Whitney Fox is a champion for affordable housing, better-paying jobs and lower electric bills. Whitney Fox believes that women and doctors, not politicians, should make their own personal health decisions including abortion. Whitney and I pledge to put ‘people over politics’ and work together to solve problems and make life better for our neighbors.”

Castor added that she trusts Fox “to stand up for clean water and clean beaches, and protect our Gulf Coast way of life.”

Castor has long been a champion for the environment and combating climate change, previously chairing the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.

Fox is running for the Democratic nomination to take on incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, who succeeded former U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, a Democrat, after he left office to run for Governor.

“I am honored to have the support of Congresswoman Castor,” Fox said. “Together, we will work to make our community more affordable for all families, and we’ll stand firm in defending women’s freedom to make their own healthcare decisions.”

She said the endorsement demonstrates her campaign’s momentum and recognizes her “commitment to the prosperity of Pinellas County neighbors and small businesses.”

Fox, before jumping into the congressional race, served as the Director of Communications for the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA). In her leadership role at PSTA, Fox worked at the local, state and federal level to identify public transportation solutions, including securing funding for and building innovative programs such as the recently launched SunRunner Bus Rapid Transit service in St. Pete.

Luna won the district, which covers much of Pinellas County, in 2022 amid a red wave in Florida after the Legislature approved new congressional maps that shifted the voter registration advantage from favoring Democrats to favoring Republicans. Luna ran previously in 2020, losing to Crist.

The district, drawn to exclude parts of south Pinellas County and include northern parts of the county, now leans red with nearly 199,000 Republican voters to just 151,573 Democrats.

Cook Political Report lists the district as a competitive race, but with a distinct advantage for Republicans at R+6 and likely Republican.

Castor’s endorsement joins a growing list, including from former U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, who is now running for U.S. Senate; former St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman; state Rep. Lindsay Cross; former state Sen. Janet Cruz; former state Reps. Margaret GoodCarlos Guillermo Smith and Adam Hattersley; former congressional candidate Alan Cohn; Pinellas County Commissioner Rene Flowers; Pinellas County School Board member Caprice Edmond; St. Pete City Council members Gina DriscollDeborah FiggsSanders and Lisset Hanewicz; Oldsmar Vice Mayor Andrew Knapp; Oldsmar City Council member Steve Graber; Gulfport City Council members Paul Ray and April Thanos; former St. Pete Beach Mayor Al Johnson; former Seminole City Council member Jim Olliver; Largo City Commissioner Michael Smith; Dunedin City Commissioner Jeff Gow; Largo City Commissioner Jamie Robinson; and the National Women’s Political Caucus.

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].


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