TAMPA — Newly sworn in Tampa City Council member Curtis Stokes addressed questions about multiple foreclosures and related legal problems he is facing on his first day as a council member.
Stokes, 41, of North Tampa, and Yvonne Capin, 60, of South Tampa, took their oaths Thursday morning before a crowd of family and friends.
Capin and Stokes replaced former council members John Dingfelder and Linda Saul-Sena, who resigned to run for the Hillsborough County Commission.
After Capin and Stokes signed written oaths, Stokes commented on questions about his personal finances, which were addressed in a Times story Thursday.
"I am not in any kind of financial difficulty, nor have I ever been," Stokes said in a brief statement to the council and supporters in the audience.
Stokes' selection gives the council three African-American members for the first time. Stokes, a former president of the Hillsborough County chapter of the NAACP, joins Chairman Tom Scott and Gwen Miller. Stokes, who works as a community affairs director at Fifth Third Bank and serves as unit chairman of the American Cancer Society, beat more than 30 applicants for Saul-Sena's seat. The longtime Republican, who recently turned independent, ran unsuccessfully for a council seat in 2003.
Capin, who once owned a jewelry business, ran unsuccessfully as a Democrat for the state House in 2008.
Capin and Stokes will serve on the council until the city's March election.
Scott told the new members the council is delighted to have them for the next nine months.
"We have a lot of things to do," he said.
Follow This Just In on Twitter.