Jane Castor asks David Straz to run a clean Tampa mayor campaign and join TV debates

The former police chief said she wants to avoid a divisive campaign. The Straz campaign says it is still deciding on debates.
Tampa mayoral candidate Jane Castor, takes part in the Vision Series: Mayoral Debate on Oct. 3, 2018, at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa.   (MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE   |   Times)
Tampa mayoral candidate Jane Castor, takes part in the Vision Series: Mayoral Debate on Oct. 3, 2018, at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa. (MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE | Times)
Published March 7

TAMPA — Jane Castor sent David Straz a letter Thursday asking him to go positive and join her in three televised debates as the race to become Tampa's next mayor enters its stretch run.

The letter was delivered by a Castor campaign aide to Straz's campaign headquarters. In it, the former police chief turned mayoral candidate, who almost clinched Tuesday’s election, requested that the retired banker avoid the dirt in the weeks before the April 23 runoff vote.

Tampa mayor’s race: A complete guide

In a phone call Tuesday night, Castor wrote, she thought Straz agreed to run a "clean campaign."

After Straz told reporters Wednesday he would go negative as long as his attacks were "honest and truthful," Castor wrote that she wanted "to urge you to reconsider these divisive tactics."

Castor wrote that she believed voters wanted to hear the candidates' visions for moving the city forward and asked Straz to participate in three planned televised debates next month.

Straz also hasn't confirmed his attendance at a Chamber of Commerce forum at the University of Tampa on Monday. He was invited in February, officials said.

Jarrod Holbrook, Straz's spokesman, said the campaign is "in the process of reviewing all invitations and scheduling." He said he hadn't seen the letter.

Contact Charlie Frago at [email protected] or (727)893-8459. [email protected]

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