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David Straz releases new TV ad in Tampa mayor’s race

David A. Straz Jr., philanthropist and retired banker, is considering a run for Tampa mayor in 2019. [JAMES BORCHUK   |   Times (2016)]
David A. Straz Jr., philanthropist and retired banker, is considering a run for Tampa mayor in 2019. [JAMES BORCHUK | Times (2016)]
Published Aug. 20, 2018
Updated Aug. 20, 2018

David Straz has suggested he'll spend whatever it takes to become Tampa's next mayor.

So far, the money he's spending on TV ads shows he appears to mean it.

On Monday, the Straz campaign released the second ad introducing the 75-year-old retired banker and philanthropist to voters.

The 30-second spot entitled "Job Creator" set to run on Tampa local and cable TV portrays Straz as a business-savvy outsider who promises "new ideas" to create jobs, improve transit and protect Cigar City's quality of life.

City Council chairman Frank Reddick, a Straz supporter who would become mayor if Bob Buckhorn is tapped to run as Gwen Graham's lieutenant governor, makes a non-speaking cameo.

Straz has spent $484,000 on his campaign so far.

That's more than three times the combined total of all the other candidates so far.

With the March 5 election still more than six months away, he's poised to shatter all existing records for spending.

Small businessman Topher Morrison, City Council members Mike Suarez and Harry Cohen, former police chief Jane Castor and former county commissioner Ed Turanchik are also in the race.

Castor has dominated early polling.

The Straz campaign's spending is almost completely self-funded. Straz has pitched in $1,550,000 out of the $1,569,435 raised through the end of July.