Bob Buckhorn wins runoff to become next Mayor of Tampa

03/23/11 Janelle Irwin
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After nearly a year on the campaign trail, Bob Buckhorn has felt the rush of not one, but two victories. Just a few weeks ago, Buckhorn celebrated at a sports bar in Ybor City as he grabbed a seat in the run off election against Rose Ferlita, barreling over front runner Dick Greco in the process. Then yesterday he celebrated again. This time from a stage located in Channelside. A larger crowd, a larger venue and a larger victory welcomed him last night. His supporters were not just hopeful to see a Buckhorn victory, they expected it. Former running mate Ed Turanchik agreed.

Buckhorn has seen his fair share of the political world though the eyes of both success and failure. He enjoyed two successful bids for city council in 1995 and 1999, but lost three others for state legislature, county commissioner, a position previously held by Ferlita and even a previous bid for mayor. Last night’s victory vindicated those losses, but the experience is not forgotten to Buckhorn.

Buckhorn will have about a week and a half to breathe and prepare before being sworn in on April 1st. He said he would like to take a couple of days off, but is already looking ahead. One item on the minds of Tampa residents and on Buckhorn’s agenda is the ongoing dispute over unusually high water bills. Buckhorn did not comment on specific plans, but praised incumbent mayor Pam Iorio for her efforts so far.

Four city council seats were also determined in last nights run off, Mike Suarez of district one, district three’s Yvonne Capin, Harry Cohen in district 4 and Lisa Montelione of district 7. Districts two, five and six were won by the necessary 50% to avoid a runoff. Mary Mulhern, Frank Reddick, and Charlie Miranda will occupy those seats.

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