Jane Castor welcomes old rival, Harry Cohen, to help guide transition with budget chief Sonya Little

Castor named Cohen and Little as co-chairs of her transition effort to focus on advisory committees.
Mayor Jane Castor gives a speech after taking the oath of office.
Mayor Jane Castor gives a speech after taking the oath of office.
Published June 6, 2019|Updated June 7, 2019

TAMPA—Harry Cohen barely missed a chance to go one on one with his old friend Jane Castor in the mayoral election three months ago.

On Thursday, Castor named the former council member and third-place finisher in the city’s recently concluded mayoral election. He’ll co-chair the transition process with current city Chief Financial Officer Sonya Little.

During the campaign, when asked if she would create a vice-mayor position, Castor said she’d consider it, then looked at Cohen and said she’d pick him for the job.

Cohen, widely considered to be about to make a formal bid for a county commission seat, can’t work for the city for at least a year per policy. He’ll be working for free in the advisory role as will Little, who is the city’s budget czar and its highest-ranking black official. They’ll work with Carole Wallace Post, named last month to lead Castor’s transition, who as Tampa’s 59th mayor took office on May 1, just eight days after her victory at the polls.

READ MORE: Carole Wallace Post named to lead Castor transition

“I’m honored Mayor Castor has asked me to assist in steering her advisory teams,” said Little in a statement from Castor’s office. “These dynamic teams will spell out her vision for Tampa’s transformation moving forward and this strong collaboration with the community will benefit Tampa for years to come.”

Harry Cohen was quoted in the statement saying that Castor’s advisory committees dedicated to tackling thorny issues like transportation, affordable housing, workforce development, construction services and sustainability was a good first step.

“The five areas that Mayor Castor has identified for study are all critical to Tampa’s future. I am excited to assist in identifying and prioritizing key initiatives while thinking creatively about solutions and strategies for moving Tampa forward,” Cohen said.