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Gwen Myers cruises to victory in Hillsborough’s District 3 commission race

She will succeed Commissioner Les Miller Jr.
Hillsborough County Commission candidates from left, Gwen Myers, Democrat, and Republican Maura Cruz Lanz
Hillsborough County Commission candidates from left, Gwen Myers, Democrat, and Republican Maura Cruz Lanz [ Gwen Myers, Maura Cruz Lanz ]
Published Nov. 4, 2020|Updated Nov. 4, 2020

TAMPA — Gwen Myers is returning to Hillsborough County government.

Myers, a Democrat, won a resounding victory over Republican Maura Cruz Lanz in the race for the District 3 County Commission seat. With all 89 precincts reporting and early and mail ballots counted, Myers had captured more than 72 percent of the vote.

Myers attributed her success to “the citizens of District 3 believing in me.”

“I’m very humbled to have their support and I’m looking forward to moving the district forward,” she said.

Myers, 66, retired in 2013 after 25 years as contracts manager and health care supervisor for Hillsborough County. She said she told then-County Administrator Mike Merrill she planned to run for the seat in 2020.

Lanz, 65, who retired five years ago after serving as vice president and doing business operations for her family’s Manuel Lanz Construction Corp., didn’t enter the race until the spring and said she was motivated by what she perceived as an overregulating government trampling individual rights during the pandemic.

Lanz faced an uphill battle considering nearly 56 percent of the district’s 171,000 voters are registered as Democrats, compared to less than 16 percent who are Republicans. The seat is now held by Commission Chairman Les Miller, who is leaving office because of term limits.

The district stretches from Bearss Avenue south to Riverview and includes much of the city of Tampa. The district is 40 percent Black; every resident commissioner has been Black since voters approved the county charter in 1982.

During the campaign, the candidates differed significantly on transportation issues. Most notably, Myers said she wanted to bring the transportation sales tax referendum back to the electorate in 2022 if the Florida Supreme Court invalidates its 2018 passage.

Lanz said she voted against the tax referendum in 2018 and would not support putting it back on the ballot.

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