Civic activist Lee Lowry has filed to run for the Tampa City Council District 4 seat representing South Tampa, which appears to guarantee a tough race with outgoing Mayor Bob Buckhorn involved.
Lowry, a fund raiser for the Hillsborough Community College Foundation, may be best known for her long-time role in the Junior League, as president of the Tampa chapter and chairman of the state Junior League's State Public Affairs Committee.
She's currently an appointee of Gov. Rick Scott on the state Council on Human Trafficking and of Mayor Bob Buckhorn to the city police department's Citizens Review Board.
A Davis Islands resident since 1996, Lowry is 47 with two children. She is making her first run for public office.
She'll face Bill Carlson, another well-known civic activist and public relations executive.
Carlson is a Democrat and Lowry a Republican. Parties often become involved in city races even though the offices are non-partisan, but Lowry said she hopes the race remains non-partisan. She said she chose the city council race in part because she prefers non-partisanship.
There's also a third candidate in the race, Salvatore Guagliardo Jr.
Although Buckhorn is a Democrat, he's friends with Lowry and has clashed with Carlson, and confirmed Friday that he will endorse and support Lowry. He called her "passionate, capable, exactly the type of candidate the city council can use," and noted that she is among the few prominent female candidates who have filed so far.
That, Buckhorn said, raises the possibility of an all-male council, and, "It would be nice to have a woman's voice at the table."
The seat is being vacated by council member Harry Cohen, who is running for mayor.