Former Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn joins lobbying firm

The two-term mayor, who left office in 2019, will concentrate on economic development for Shumaker Advisors Florida.
Shumaker Advisors, a lobbying firm, announced the hiring of former Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn on Monday.
Shumaker Advisors, a lobbying firm, announced the hiring of former Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn on Monday. [ Gittings Photography ]
Published Jan. 10, 2022|Updated Jan. 10, 2022

TAMPA — Bob Buckhorn as mayor oversaw big-ticket public-private partnerships like Water Street, the Riverwalk and Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park.

A little more than 2½ years since he left the mayor’s chair because of term limits, Buckhorn will have a chance to continue being a part of the action as a lobbyist, joining Shumaker Advisors Florida as a principal.

Buckhorn will focus on “economic development strategies” and “urban development strategies” both in Tampa Bay and statewide at the firm, which is wholly owned by the Shumaker law firm.

It’s a natural fit, said Buckhorn, who came into office in 2011 with the city reeling from the Great Recession and left with cranes crisscrossing the city skyline.

“Having played a small part in the transformation of Tampa over the last decade brings value. I know where we were and how we got here,” Buckhorn said. “That’s helpful for clients looking to navigate the process.”

Shumaker Advisors has hired big names in Hillsborough County politics recently. Former county commissioners Les Miller and Sandy Murman joined the firm when they left office after the 2020 elections. Miller left because of term limits. Murman, who had served on the County Commission since 2010, lost to County Commissioner Pat Kemp.

Ron Christaldi, the firm’s president and CEO, said Buckhorn brings a lot to the table. His long experience as a staffer to Mayor Sandy Freeman and as a City Council member and mayor provide “a depth of experience that touches all aspects of public affairs and public policy.”

And Buckhorn has a contact list packed with clout, added Christaldi.

“He brings a network of contacts and a circle of influence that can further serve our clients,” Christaldi said. “And he has a deep commitment to the community, which is important to me and the firm.”

Buckhorn said the job will be a continuation of his life’s work.

“It will be doing what I love doing, which is building cities,” he said.