TAMPA — Joseph Citro easily won the District 1 seat on the Tampa City Council, scoring a decisive victory Tuesday night over environmental engineer Walter L. Smith II.
With all precincts counted, Citro had just over 57 percent of the vote in the citywide election.
He addressed a crowd of supporters at the Wine Bar Cafe in Seminole Heights, thanking them for their help in what was his fourth bid for the city council. He also thanked Smith for the campaign he ran.
"He did it with dignity," Citro said. "Walter Smith ... you're a very good man and you have a great opportunity in politics to come."
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It was Smith’s second bid for elected office, having lost a race for State House in 2016.
In March, the pair topped a field of five candidates in a primary election. Citro dominated the vote in much of South Tampa and New Tampa, while Smith drew support from Ybor City and East Tampa.
In the weeks after the runoff, Citro more than doubled Smith's fundraising totals.
He touted his long record of service on a variety of city boards and his near-perfect attendance at city council meetings, calling it a "master's level curriculum" on city government. His experience includes service on the Ybor City Development Corporation, the Code Enforcement Board and the Tampa Charter Review Commission.
He centered his campaign on economic development and transportation growth. But he made the city budget his main priority, advocating greater transparency about the way local tax dollars are spent. He got support from outgoing Mayor Bob Buckhorn and several other local leaders.
Smith, 46, a middle school science teacher and environmental engineer, pledged to focus on job development, affordable housing and public infrastructure. His campaign carried a progressive edge, with emphasis on issues like readying the city for the effects of climate change. He boasted endorsements from the likes of former gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum.
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