Tampa mayoral race: Ferlita in first, will face Buckhorn in runoff
TAMPA — Rose Ferlita finished first Tuesday night in the race to be Tampa's next mayor, but still must face Bob Buckhorn in a March 22 runoff.
With all 121 of the city's precincts reporting, Ferlita had 26 percent of the vote, followed by Buckhorn at 24 percent, former mayor Dick Greco at 23 percent, Ed Turanchik at 19 percent and Thomas Scott at 8 percent.
Voters are electing a new mayor to replace Pam Iorio, who is term-limited, and a new City Council. They also voted to authorize a property tax break for new businesses or ones that expand.
Turnout was around 22 percent. The turnout in Tampa's last three city elections has averaged 25 percent. In 2003, when Iorio was emerged from a similarly competitive field to make the runoff, turnout hit 33 percent.
Many voters said they were basing their decisions on what candidates said during the campaign about economic development and creating jobs. A St. Petersburg Times-Bay News 9 poll found that to be the most important issue in the mayor's race. (story here)