Tampa City Council Chairman Frank Reddick, a Democrat, has endorsed Tampa Republican state Rep. Shawn Harrison in his re-election bid against Democrat Fentrice Driskell.
The move could raise eyebrows in Tampa's black community.
Support among blacks, including Reddick, helped Harrison hang onto the seat against Lisa Montelione in 2016, a presidential year when Democrats usually get better voter turnout.
But Democrats hope Driskell, a young, black lawyer with strong educational and professional credentials, can reverse that.
Reddick said he and Harrison have been friends and worked together for years, and, “I don’t turn my back on friends just because of their party affiliation.”
He said Harrison helped delay the HUD move to force relocation of 170 families in Tampa Park apartments this summer, and in the past has noted Harrison's vote — breaking ranks with his party — in favor of expanding the state's Medicaid program.