As usual, South Tampa turnout drives election
TAMPA -- Once again, the city saw its highest voter turnout in South Tampa, according to a precinct-by-precinct breakdown of Tuesday's election results.
Citywide, just 22 percent of voters cast ballots in Tuesday's election. Turnout in South Tampa was 26.9 percent, followed by West Tampa with 23.9 percent, East Tampa with 15.1 percent and New Tampa with 13.2 percent.
About half of Tuesday's votes came from one-quarter of the city's 121 voting precincts, and two-thirds of those top vote-producing precincts are south of Kennedy Boulevard. Of those 30 precincts, Rose Ferlita won 14, Bob Buckhorn took seven, Ed Turanchik won three and Dick Greco won two.
The 16 precincts with the highest turnout in the city are all in South Tampa, ranging from Precinct 155, which votes at the Holy Trinity Presbyterian Church, where turnout was 33 percent, to Precinct 133, which votes at Palma Ceia Baptist Church, where turnout topped 46 percent. In this South Tampa battleground, Buckhorn won six precincts to Ferlita's five. Turanchik won three precincts, and Greco won two.
If history is a precedent, Ferlita and Buckhorn will be competing for a smaller pool of votes in the March 22 runoff election. In 2003, when Pam Iorio won her first term as mayor, turnout was 33 percent for the primary, but dropped to 29 percent in the runoff.
The lowest turnout in the city on Tuesday was on the campus of the University of South Florida, which has two precincts that vote at the Marshall Student Center. Of 1,422 registered voters in those two precincts, just seven voted Tuesday. That equates to turnout of less than one-half of one percent.