Castor declares victory in city of Tampa mayoral race

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After months of campaigning, Tampa went to the polls Tuesday to choose its next mayor. Shortly after polls closed Tuesday, former police chief Jane castor declared victory over local businessman David Straz.

Unofficial results reported on the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections' website show Castor taking 73% of the roughly 53,000 votes cast.

Speaking to his supporters, Straz encouraged support for the mayor-elect. 

“If you want the best for Tampa, you want Jane Castor to succeed as mayor,” Straz said, adding there are many similarities between his vision and Castor's.

Some in the crowd vocalized disagreement, but Straz pushed back. 

“I hear you, but we need to move on,” he said. 

Speaking to a packed room of supporters, Castor stuck to her campaign message.

"Tonight we will celebrate all that’s good about Tampa and tomorrow we will get to work. I will focus on strengthening our neighborhoods. I will do that by developing transportation solutions, affordable housing, we will attract living-wage jobs," Castor said.

Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Craig Lattimer said he expected a big voter turnout, based on early voting numbers. Ahead of Tuesday's run-off election, 16% of Hillsborough County's 230,000 registered voters had cast vote-by-mail ballots in the mayor's race.

"About 8,000 more people have voted already, comparing just [the vote-by-mail ballots] and early voting," said Latimer ahead of the election day. "We had over 6,000 vote-by-mail ballots that we've received... and then about 1,000 people voted for early voting than they did in the March election."

According to the supervisor of elections website, contributions to Straz's campaign exceeded $4.7 million. On the other hand, Castor's campaign brought in less than half of that, about $1.2 million.