Voters will choose Tampa's next mayor Tuesday

The city of Tampa's future lies in the hands of voters.

Tuesday, they will go to the polls in the city's runoff election to decide who will become Bob Buckhorn's successor. 

In the primary March 5, 20.6% of registered voters went to the polls. Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer said he expects to see a better voter turnout for the runoff. 

"About 8,000 more people have voted already, comparing just [the vote-by-mail ballots] and early voting," said Latimer. "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."

Historically, there should be a better turnout, too. 

"We've looked back, like in 2011, which this is a mirror race, because it's an open mayor's seat, and more people voted in the runoff than they did in the municipal election," added Latimer.

Combining both early voting and vote-by-mail, Latimer says more than 36,000 have made a decision between mayoral candidates Jane Castor and David Straz. 

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.

"By far and away, this has smashed all fundraising records and that was in the primary," said Craig Patrick, FOX 13's political editor. "We have never had a situation in which an underdog has spent millions and millions of dollars. The frontrunner here, Jane Castor, has spent a lot of money as well, and with that, we have by far and away, the most expensive race, and it appears as if it won't be close if the polls are correct." 

Polls taken after the primary showed Straz was down by about 30 points.

Tuesday, voting polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

To find your voting location, visit or call the Supervisor of Elections office at 813-744-5900. Voters must cast their ballots in the precinct where they reside. It's too late to mail in a vote-by-mail ballot, so anyone who still has theirs must now drop it off.