Jackie Toledo running for state House District 60; Harry Cohen to look at it, but for him nothing’s certain — or imminent
Most of the questions for Harry Cohen at Friday morning’s Cafe con Tampa breakfast group were about South Tampa neighborhood issues: street flooding, McMansions, bar-driven craziness on S Howard Avenue.
But the last question was about Cohen and his future: Is he looking at running for the state Senate?
“That is not true,” Cohen said. “There have been some approaches made to me about running for the Legislature, the state House. And I may look at that, but I wouldn’t be planning for my successor here quite yet.”
Afterward, Cohen said he’s been approached in the last two or three days about running for the District 60 seat now held by state Rep. Dana Young, who has filed to run for state Senate District 18.
“The Democratic Party has asked me to look at it, and I’m going to look at it,” Cohen said. But he said he has not looked at the numbers for the district or set a timetable for making a decision. “I may hold a decision in abeyance for a while.”
If he does run, he won’t be the first candidate in the race. Tampa civil engineer Jackie Toledo, who last year ran unsuccessfully for the City Council, has already filed for the District 60 seat as a Republican.
Cohen said the approach to him is just one result of the state Senate redistricting plan being resolved. He guesses that past and current elected officials like his colleague, Yvonne Yolie Capin, and former City Council member Linda Saul-Sena will be asked, and the names of other potential candidates have been bandied about if, for example, County Commissioner Sandra Murman runs for the Senate.
“It seems to me this is a period of political upheaval, and so there will be a lot of people looking at different things,” he said.