Former Hillsborough Democratic chief Mike Suarez running for City Council District 1
TAMPA – Former Hillsborough County Democratic Party head Mike Suarez is the latest candidate to file papers in the increasingly crowded race for the citywide District 1 seat on the Tampa City Council.
Suarez, 46, is a lifelong resident of Tampa who lives in Riverside Heights and sells insurance to businesses. He graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s in public administration. Prior to going into insurance, he ran former Senator Bob Graham’s office in central Florida for about four years.
Suarez said he’s running because the City Council should be more responsive, more focused on improving services and a better advocate for “the people who foot the bill” at City Hall.
“One of he things that I’ve seen is that the city government is disconnected from the neighborhoods in many ways,” he said.
This is not his first run for office. In 1998, he lost to Republican Chris Hart, the son of the former county commissioner of the same name, in state House District 57.
The field for District 1 also includes restaurateur Rick Barcena; University of South Florida graduate student Christopher Cano; West Tampa businessman Guido Maniscalco; civil engineer Tom Slaughter; and current District 3 council member Curtis Stokes. Incumbent Gwen Miller is leaving the seat because of term limits.