Tampa City Council passes new election law
Tampa City Council on Thursday preliminarily approved a new rule prohibiting council members who resign to run for another office from being a council candidate in the next city election cycle. Council member Charlie Miranda came up with the idea earlier this year, but it was rejected by a 4-3 vote in May. Among the no votes at the time: John Dingfelder and Linda Saul-Sena, who resigned a few months later to run for County Commission. The new ordinances means Dingfelder and Saul-Sena won't be allowed to appear on the ballot in the city's March elections if they lose in November.
Council member Joseph Caetano last week suggested bringing back Miranda's proposed ordinance, and Curtis Stokes seconded the motion. Stokes was appointed to replace Saul-Sena on the council and has said he plans to run for the post in March. This time, the proposal passed by a 5-2 vote, with Mary Mulhern and Yvonne Capin, who was appointed to replace Dingfelder on the council. Mulhern said she would only vote in favor of the ordinance if it didn't take effect for four years to eliminate the apperance that council members were trying to limit their competition in March. Her suggestion got no response.