Tampa City Council member Guido Maniscalco overwhelmed three opponents in the race for the citywide District 2 seat, but is headed for a runoff election.
Maniscalco, who is leaving his District 6 seat representing largely West Tampa because of term limits, and Robin Lockett will square off in the April 25 runoff.
Maniscalco was the leading vote-getter Tuesday with nearly 47% of the vote, with all 123 precincts reporting. Lockett, 58, an organizer with the progressive social advocacy group, Florida Rising, was runner-up with nearly 25% Mike Suarez, a former two-term council member, was third with just less than 21.6% and Michael Derewenko, a marketing manager for an irrigation manufacturer received 6.7%
Derewenko said last week he would pledge his support to Maniscalco if he didn’t make it to the runoff. He also said he hoped his candidacy would help him gain momentum for a run in 2027.
“We didn’t win outright tonight, but I’m really humbled that the citizens of Tampa, now citywide, believed in our campaign, believed in me and that I’ve earned so many of these votes to get to this point,” Maniscalco said. “I look forward to the runoff and I look forward to working for the citizens of Tampa.”
Maniscalco, 38, and Suarez, 58, a commercial insurance agent, had been on the ballot together before. In 2011, Suarez was the top vote-getter for the District 1 seat while Maniscalco finished fifth in what was his first run for office.
Suarez gathered with supporters at Ricks on the River to hear the results. He said he believed his late entry into the race hurt his efforts to get his message to voters.
“I think the electorate was looking for something different,” he said.
Maniscalco and family and friends gathered upstairs at Casa Santo Stefano in Ybor City, the same place he he held his campaign kick-off.
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He spent his day greeting voters at polling locations in South and West Tampa.
“It’ll be a full tank of gas and just moving around,” he said in an earlier interview.
Maniscalco said he had anticipated a runoff election because of four candidates being in the race.
“We’re anticipating going to April 25th.”