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Florida Insider Poll: Six out of 168 political experts think David Straz will be Tampa’s next mayor

So you’re telling me there’s a chance.
Tampa candidates for Mayor Jane Castor and David Straz are seen in this combination of images Tuesday, March 5, 2019 in Tampa.
Tampa candidates for Mayor Jane Castor and David Straz are seen in this combination of images Tuesday, March 5, 2019 in Tampa.
Published Apr. 22, 2019
Updated Apr. 22, 2019

Former police chief Jane Castor is the heavy favorite to win Tampa’s mayoral election tomorrow. Polls say that’s true, and conventional wisdom would as well after she nearly avoided a run-off in the March 5 election.

But what do Florida’s top political minds think? Does the philanthropic businessman David Straz have a chance?

More than 96 percent of Florida Insiders said no, he does not.

TAMPA’S MAYOR RACE: A Complete Guide

Just six (two Democrat, four Republican) campaign operatives, fundraisers, political scientists and other veteran politicos regularly polled by the Tampa Bay Times think Straz will come out of Tuesday’s election victorious. And the other 162 respondents picked Castor.

“Hopefully this will prove for future elections that you can’t buy the voters of Tampa — especially when 80 percent of the voters sit home and the remaining few are barely paying attention,” one Democrat said. “We actually had too many good candidates and we ended up with the two most boring, uninspiring candidates in the bunch.”

Florida Insider Poll: Pennsylvania, not Florida, will be THE swing state in 2020

Insiders were also asked about a bill in Tallahassee that would require felons to pay off all fees, fines and restitution before being allowed to vote. Would such a bill subvert the will of the people, who voted last year to restore the right of many felons to vote?

It was split, with 52 percent saying yes, and 48 percent saying no. Among Insiders registered as Republicans, “no” outnumbered “yes,” three to one, and vice versa for Democrats.


Finally, most Insiders said don’t believe the recent talk about a sweeping criminal justice reform bill this session. Seven in 10 said it’s not happening.

The Times regularly surveys some of Florida’s campaign staff, party leaders, consultants, operatives, fundraisers, prognosticators and other well-known politicos. We allow participants to weigh-in anonymously to encourage honesty from people closely involved in the political process, but we always print the name of all the participants. This month’s Florida Insiders are:

This month’s Insiders were: Erin Aebel, Tom Alte, Jason Altmire, Gayle Andrews, Scott Arceneaux, Donna Arduin, Dave Aronberg, Brad Ashwell, Jon M. Ausman, Roger Austin, Ryan Banfill, Christina Barker, Scott Barnhart, Rodney Barreto, Ashley Bauman, Alan Becker, Geoffrey Becker, Samuel Bell, Wayne Bertsch, Ron Bilbao, Barney Bishop III, Greg Blair, Katie Bohnett, Matt Bryan, Bob Buckhorn, Alex Burgos, Kristy Campbell, Dean Cannon, Tim Canova, Al Cardenas, Reggie Cardozo, Chip Case, Kevin Cate, Mitch Ceasar, Jim Cherry, Alan Clendenin, Brad Coker, Mike Colodny, Hunter Conrad, Gus Corbella, Brian Crowley, Ana Cruz, Husein Cumber, Colburn David, Richard DeNapoli, Pablo Diaz, Victor DiMaio, Tony DiMatteo, Michael Dobson, Doc Dockery, Paula Dockery, Bob Doyle, Charles Dudley, Ryan Duffy, Barry Edwards, Eric Eikenberg, Alia Faraj-Johnson, Mike Fasano, Peter Feaman, Mark Ferrulo, Damien Filer, Mark Foley, Brian Franklin, Towson Fraser, Keith Frederick, Ellen Freidin, John French, Stephen Gaskill, Steve Geller, Richard Gentry, Susan Glickman, Susan Goldstein, Alma Gonzalez, Ron Greenstein, Joe Gruters, Marion Hammer, Abel Harding, James Harris, Rich Heffley, Cynthia Henderson, Ann Herberger, Mike Hightowers, Don Hinkle, Jim Horne, Aubrey Jewett, Jeff Johnson, Christina Johnson, Ken Jones, Eric Jotkoff, Fred Karlinsky, Joshua Karp, Henry Kelley, Jim Kitchens, John Konkus, Kartik Krishnaiyer, Stephanie Kunkel, Jackie Lee, Bill Lee, Matt Lettelleir, Jack Levine, Alan Levine, Tom Lewis, Stephanie Lewis-McClung, Bethany Leytham, Al Maloof, Javier Manjarres, Roly Marante, William March, Beth Matuga, Brian May, Kim McDougal, Clarence McKee, Seth McKee, Kathy Mears, David Mica, Paul Mitchell, Travis Moore, Lucy Morgan, Samuel Neimeiser, Meredith O’Rourke, Stephanie Owens, Maurizio Passariello, Alex Patton, Darryl Paulson, Anthony Pedicini, Jorge Pedraza, Juan Penalosa, Evey Perez-Verdia, Joe Perry, Ron Pierce, JC Planas, Bob Poe, Van Poole, David Rancourt, Marc Reichelderfer, George Riley, Jim Rimes, Terrie Rizzo, Pat Roberts, Jason Roth, Sarah Rumpf, Ron Sachs, Tom Scarritt, Steve Schale, Tom Scherberger, April Schiff, Mel Sembler, Kathleen Shanahan, Bud Shorstein, Kyle Simon, Patrick Slevin, Adam Smith, Eleanor Sobel, Alan Stonecipher, Nancy Ann Texeira, Cory Tilley, Frank Tsamoutales, Greg Turbeville, Christian Ulvert, Jason Unger, Greg Ungru, Matthew Van Name, Steven Vancore, Ashley Walker, Robert Watkins, Nancy Watkins, Screven Watson, Jonathan Webber, John Wehrung, Andrew Weinstein, Gerald Wester, Leslie Wimes, Jon Woodard, Zachariah Zachariah, Christian Ziegler, Mark Zubaly

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Visitors head to Florida's Old Capitol building on Tuesday, the first day of the annual session. The same day, the advocacy group Equality Florida denounced four bills filed by Republican lawmakers, calling them “the most overtly anti-LGBTQ agenda from the Florida legislature in recent memory.” [SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Most of the bills try to eliminate local ordinances, and Republicans say they’ve been unfairly labeled.
  2. Attorney Joseph Bondy tweeted this photo of his client, Lev Parnas (right) with former Florida attorney general Pam Bondi on Friday, Jan. 17. Bondi on Friday was named on of President Donald Trump's impeachment lawyers. [Twitter]
    Parnas’ lawyer tweeted out the photo of the former Florida attorney general along with #TheyAllKnew.
  3. Florida Senator Rob Bradley, R- Fleming Island, watches the action on the first day of the session, 1/14/2020.  [SCOTT KEELER  |  TAMPA BAY TIMES]
    A popular bill would allow judges to dole out punishments less than the mandatory minimum sentences spelled out in state law for many drug crimes if the defendant meets certain criteria.
  4. Vice President Mike Pence take selfies with supporters after giving a campaign speech during the "Keep America Great" rally at the Venetian Event Center at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church in Tampa, Florida on Thursday, January 16, 2020.  [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times]
    ‘Come November the American people are going to have our say,’ Pence said.
  5. Rep. Stan McClain, an Ocala Republican, presents a bill that would allow Florida public colleges and universities to sponsor charter schools, during a January 2020 meeting of the House PreK-12 Innovation subcommittee. [The Florida Channel]
    Alternative authorizers have been found unconstitutional in the past. But that isn’t stopping the effort.
  6. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, members of the Florida Cabinet, left, and the Florida Supreme Court, right, stand at attention as the colors are posted in the Florida Senate during the first day of the Florida legislative session in Tallahassee, Tuesday, January 14, 2020.  [SCOTT KEELER  |  TAMPA BAY TIMES]
    The court ruled that Amendment 4‘s “all terms of sentence” include the payment of all court fees, fines and restitution.
  7. Thousands rallied and marched from the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center to the Florida Historic Capitol to demand more money for public schools Monday, Jan. 13, 2020. Thousands of school workers from around the state thronged Florida's Capitol on Monday to press Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Legislature to more than double the nearly $1 billion the governor is proposing for teacher raises and bonuses.  (Tori Lynn Schneider/Tallahassee Democrat via AP) [TORI LYNN SCHNEIDER  |  AP]
    The PreK-12 Appropriations subcommittee cutting exercise would come in nearly 25 percent below Gov. Ron DeSantis’ proposal.
  8. Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.,, center, speaks as fellow candidates businessman Tom Steyer, from left, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., former Vice President Joe Biden, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. listen, Tuesday during a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by CNN and the Des Moines Register in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) [PATRICK SEMANSKY  |  AP]
    The candidates’ proposals reveal differences in how they plan to approach the issue.
  9. Vice President Mike Pence points to supporters before speaking during a campaign rally at the Huntington Center, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020, in Toledo, Ohio. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) [TONY DEJAK  |  AP]
    Vice President Mike Pence will take the stage in New Tampa, at the Venetian Event Center at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church, at 1:30 p.m. It wasn’t planned that way.
  10. <Samsung D70 / D75 / S730 / S750>
    For the first time since he was nominated by Gov. Ron DeSantis for the job of Florida Surgeon General, Scott Rivkees appeared before senators to answer questions that have been percolating for nine...
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