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Candidates lining up for Tampa City Council races - next year

A couple of rematches could be in the works.
The Tampa City Council meets in the Old City Hall building at 315 E. Kennedy Blvd.
The Tampa City Council meets in the Old City Hall building at 315 E. Kennedy Blvd.
Published Aug. 19

With the 2022 elections looming large in the minds of voters, candidates are already lining up for the 2023 Tampa city elections, and setting up some possibly contentious races.

They include a challenge to District 5 representative and former council chairman Orlando Gudes by three candidates, including Jeffrey Rhodes, who lost to Gudes in 2019 by only 160 votes; and a challenge to at-large member Joe Citro by Democratic Party official Alan Clendenin, who lost in a crowded field including Citro in 2019.

Attorney Hoyt Prindle III, a critic of what he calls dysfunction on the council, has begun fundraising to run in District 6, where council member Guido Maniscalco is term-limited. Prindle has raised $21,479.

Maniscalco, meanwhile, said he’s considering running for the at-large seat currently held by Charlie Miranda, who’s also term-limited. The two, who are political rivals, could in effect swap seats; moving from an an-large to a district seat lifts the term limits..

Miranda, a council member since 1995 except for an interruption after an unsuccessful mayoral race, has held the District 6 seat in the past. He customarily keeps mum on political plans until near the election and wouldn’t say last week whether he expects to run for it again.

And council member Luis Viera has filed for re-election to his District 7 seat.

Asked why he filed early, he said, “I believe in getting an early start and taking nothing for granted.

Other early filers are Michael Derewenko in Miranda’s at-large District 2 seat and Sonja Brookins in the District 3 at-large seat held by Lynn Hurtak.

Gudes wouldn’t say whether he intends to run again — “It’s still early,” he said, but added, “The voters know who has served them well.”

Controversies from his first term could resurface in the race.

Gudes resigned as council chairman, but kept his council seat, in March after a city investigation alleged he had created a hostile work environment by making improper comments to a former aide.

Gudes denied any substantial wrongdoing and his backers said the probe was an attack on an independent council member by Mayor Jane Castor’s administration. The city paid a $200,000 settlement to the aide, who also sued Gudes. A judge has issued a pending but not final order to dismiss the lawsuit.

Gudes also had to pay back taxes after learning he had improperly kept a homestead exemption — unintentionally, he said — on a former home for four years after moving into his parents’ home in his district in 2018.

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