Former Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor to run for mayor

- If she has it her way, Jane Castor will be the next mayor of the city of Tampa. 

"I spent 31 years patrolling every inch of this city, so there aren't many people that know Tampa better than I do," she said. "I've seen the ups and downs in our community. I've been a part of that. This is a very exciting time for Tampa." 

Castor, a Tampa native, joins a pool of candidates that includes former Hillsborough County Commissioner Ed Turanchik, Tampa City Council Member Harry Cohen, and businessmen Topher Morrison and Michael Hazard.

Current Mayor Bob Buckhorn terms out next year.

The announcement of Castor's candidacy was long-rumored after she retired from the Tampa Police Department.

"I can't say that I ever envisioned myself running for mayor, but in that same stead, I never saw myself as the Chief of Police either," said Castor. 

During her time as police chief, Castor worked to reduce major crimes 70 percent citywide and worked alongside three different mayors.

"I have been able to see what a good mayor is," said Castor. "Some of the challenges that they face, some of the priorities, and really, the skills that are necessary to perform well in that position." 

During her time as chief, Castor was front-and-center for some of the city's toughest hours, including the tragic shooting deaths of two officers during a traffic stop, and the three day search for their killer.

She has also been criticized for a program meant to make high-crime areas of the city safer when it ticketed more black bicyclists than anyone else.

Castor told the Tampa Bay Times that those citations were a mistake. 

She has yet to roll out her entire platform, but Castor did outline a few of her priorities, should she be Tampa's next mayor.

Those include stronger neighborhoods and a strong economy. 

"I love Tampa," she said. "It is my heart and soul, and I have service in my heart. I want to do anything and everything that I can to make this city the best it can possibly be." 

In the coming weeks, Castor will roll out her platform. Her official campaign kickoff is next month, on May 17 at 5:30 p.m. at Ulele.

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