TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The next race for Tampa mayor is still two years away, but speculation is already swirling about who will take the office next.
Sources have confirmed to News Channel 8 that former Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor will be in the running.
Castor has not yet confirmed her run but according to a new poll, there’s no doubt she’d be one of the favorites.
“If you had to pick a frontrunner right now, because she’s the best known among the people who are seriously considering running,” political analyst William March said. “She also, I think, would be most likely to be viewed as carrying on the Bob Buckhorn legacy.”
Jane Castor is a Tampa native who worked her way up the ranks of the police force for more than three decades to become the department’s first female chief of police.
“She knows the city and she’s very, very competent in her past capacity,” Judy Lisi of Tampa said.
A new poll from St. Pete Polls of 647 Tampa voters shows if they went to the polls today, Jane Castor would top the list at 37 percent.
City Councilman Mike Suarez earned just under 10 percent. The poll shows City Councilman Harry Cohen with a little more than six percent.
We asked one Brandon man if he thought Castor could make the transition from law enforcement to city hall.
“Absolutely,” Mark Bond said. “I don’t think there’s much of a difference. If you’ve ever dealt with a police organization, that’s one of the most political organizations you could find.”
“We’re talking way too early to really pick a serious front-runner, not way too early to talk about who’s interested,” March said.
Insiders say Castor has been out in the Tampa Bay area unofficially campaigning.
It’s important to note that no one, including former Chief Castor, has officially thrown their hat into the ring yet.
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