Incumbent U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor was sweeping to victory in the Democratic primary for her U.S. House of Representatives District 11 seat. She will face apparent Republican primary winner Mike Prendergast in the November general election.
Castor, 44, has held the seat since 2006. Her district includes a large part of Tampa, a chunk of south St. Petersburg and part of northern Manatee County and pays $174,000 a year.
"In this year, with so many folks facing economic turmoil in their lives, you just can't take anything for granted. I've got to continue to prove that I'm on their side fighting for jobs," Castor said. "That's a full-time job."
Castor had 85 percent of the vote late Tuesday night. Her opponent was political novice Tim Curtis, a 53-year-old member of the tea party who owns a UPS Store franchise in Temple Terrace. Castor appeared to be headed for a faceoff with Prendergast, a 54-year-old retired Army colonel. On Tuesday night, Prendergast was well ahead of three other Republican hopefuls: Eddie Adams Jr., Tommy Castellano and Tony Buntyn.
"We feel very fortunate and deeply humbled by the response that we've gotten from our community," Prendergast said.
Castellano, 60, was in second place, with Adams, 56, and Buntyn, 49, in third and fourth places, respectively. Castellano owns Castellano Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. in Tampa, Buntyn, a veteran of the Air Force Reserve, owns a cybersecurity consulting firm called U.S. Cyber Solutions Inc., and Adams owns his own architecture firm.