Two more enter City Council races
An Ybor City business owner and an emergency room physician are the latest entrants in the races for Tampa City Council. Elections are in March.
Carrie West, 58, owner of a gay-themed gift shop in Ybor City, has filed to run for the District 5 council seat. West said his priorities are historic preservation; transportation, including improvements for bicyclists and pediatrians; and neighborhood infrastructure. But like many other candidates, he said the number one issue is jobs. West points to his role in the growth of Ybor's Gaybor district as an example of his experience with economic development and job creation.
"We had 44 empty rental places in Ybor City when we were looking to open a store here in 2007," said West, who is also a member of the Barrio Latino Commission and the Ybor City Development Corporation. "I'm not a broker. I'm not a Realtor. But I talked to friends and said let's start moving into an area that's already conducive to the gay community." The district has blossomed, and in addition to restaurants and clubs, now boasts a medical clinic, gay and lesbian community center and pharmacy. "I think I can make this happen downtown," West said, adding that he won't be running on a gay agenda. "It's not just for one group. It's for everybody."
Tom Scott currently holds the District 5 seat that represents Ybor City and East Tampa. He is running for mayor. Other candidates in District 5 the race are Lynette Judge, Frank Reddick and Stanley Gloster.
Jason Wilson, 32, an emergency room physician at Tampa General Hospital, has filed to run for the city-wide District 3 seat. "This is the right time for a newcomer to bring some fresh ideas," said Wilson, who grew up in Tampa and graduated from Plant High School. "As an emergency room doctor, I'm a perfect person to bring new ideas to the table." Wilson said patients often end up in the emergency room for reasons that extend beyond medical need. "It's because of unemployment and they have no place else to go, a transportation system where a bus route can only get them to Tampa General and a myriad of othe reasons," Wilson said. "Physicians are the social safety net already." He said he'd like to turn some of his insights into policy.
Curtis Stokes currently holds the District 3 seat, but is running for the District 1 council seat. Attorney Seth Nelson is the only other candidate in the District 3 race.