TAMPA — A small food manufacturing business owner defeated a former county judge Tuesday to advance to a long-shot rematch against incumbent Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Castor.
Christine Yvonne Quinn captured 23,702 of the 36,768 votes cast in final but unofficial results from the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections.
Quinn’s 64 percent of the vote easily defeated Paul Sidney Elliott, an attorney who served as a Hillsborough County judge in the 1980s and had also run unsuccessfully in 2012 for the congressional seat containing Tampa and adjacent suburbs.
Longtime Hillsborough campaign consultant Victor DiMaio said Quinn’s next victory is a big ask: getting a thoroughly Blue District to abandon a popular congresswoman with a powerful political brand name (Castor’s mother was a longtime county politician. Kathy Castor isn’t related to Tampa Mayor Jane Castor).
Dislodging Castor, a committee chairwoman who is seeking her eighth term, will require a vanishingly narrow path, he said.
“It’s going to be a slaughter,” said DiMaio, who isn’t involved in the Castor reelection effort.
Castor and Quinn will appear on the the Nov. 3 ballot. In 2016, the last time that happened, Castor won in a walk.
Quinn, who moved from California to Lakeland in 2014, said she intentionally relocated her Pinellas County-based food manufacturing business to friendlier business climes.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s policies chased her business out of California, Quinn said. She later moved it to Pinellas County since she prefers to live in Tampa over Lakeland. She is currently renting a home in Tampa’s Rocky Point neighborhood, a short bay commute away from her High Point manufacturing facility.
Pelosi is a frequent subject of Quinn’s scorn. She recently told the Tampa Bay Times that Castor is merely the powerful Californian’s puppet.
Her opponent, Elliott didn’t speak with the Times on the record. This was his second loss in a bid for the seat, which covers Tampa and some of its closer suburbs. He finished fourth in a 2012 bid.
Quinn said she is ready for the chance to do political battle again with Castor. This time around, she will focus on door knocking and other grassroots efforts, she said.
Castor has nearly $600,000 in campaign funds, dwarfing Quinn’s $56,268, which includes a large personal loan.