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‘Passing on the torch’: Former Tampa mayors endorse Jane Castor

Bob Martinez, Dick Greco Sr. and Pam Iorio announced their support in front of City Hall Wednesday morning.
Three former Tampa mayors endorse Jane Castor
Three former Tampa mayors endorse Jane Castor
Published Apr. 3, 2019
Updated Apr. 3, 2019

TAMPA—Jane Castor has the support of all the city’s major unions, all its returning council members and the backing of the popular outgoing two-term mayor, Bob Buckhorn.

On Wednesday, three out of the four living former mayors joined the Castor endorsement parade.

Bob Martinez (1979-1986), Dick Greco Sr. (1967-1974, 1995-2003), Pam Iorio (2003-2011) joined Buckhorn outside City Hall to sing the praises of the former police chief.

Buckhorn, elected in 2011, called it a “passing of the torch” and a tribute to Castor’s service to the city that she has their support.

Martinez said Castor has “the proper perspective of what city management is all about.”

And Iorio, who appointed Castor as chief in 2009, recalled her steady nerves and decisive action in 2010 when a massive police hunt tracked down Dontae Morris four days after he killed two Tampa police officers.

“I was able to see Jane as a leader up close. I saw someone who never wavered. Who motivated literally thousands of law enforcement officials to all do exactly what needed to be done, do it the right way and bring someone into custody. I saw someone who was compassionate, who was transparent with the media and the public about what was occurring. In short, I saw someone who was and is a tremendous leader.”

Greco Sr, whose son Dick Greco Jr. ran unsuccessfully for mayor this year, has been a longtime friend of Castor’s opponent in the April 23 runoff election, David Straz.

Greco said he chose to endorse Castor because he’d seen her in action in a leadership role.

“This is a crucial time to keep going,” said Greco, 85. “I had to think this over and I think Jane will do the very best job."

On living mayor who didn’t endorse Castor was Sandy Freedman (1986-1995), who supported Harry Cohen in the March 5 general election.

In a phone message, Freedman said she has been dealing with a family illness and hasn’t been thinking about the mayor’s race.

Straz has not announced a major endorsement since the general election.