Tampa elects its first lesbian mayor Jane Castor

Jane Castor is elected Tampa mayor.

A city in Florida has elected its first out lesbian mayor, ex-police chief, Jane Castor.

Castor is now the first out lesbian mayor of a major city (Tampa) in the State, after a landslide victory over her opponent on Tuesday (April 23.)

The 59-year-old said her win “sends a resounding message to our community – no, the nation, that Tampa celebrates its diversity and lifts everyone up in a positive way.”

Castor defeated opponent businessman David Straz, who only managed to collect 15.5 percent of the vote in the initial vote on March 5.

The mayor-elect nearly won the first round with 49 percent of the vote but didn’t have a clear majority so the election went to a second-round runoff.

Jane Castor is elected Tampa mayor.

Jane Castor is elected Tampa mayor. (Credit: Facebook)

‘Year of the lesbian mayor’

Castor, who was widely expected to win, served on the Tampa police force for 31 years and was the city’s first woman and first openly LGBT+ Police Chief.
The Tampa resident’s win makes her the first out lesbian mayor of a major Southeastern city, and she’s also the third out lesbian to be elected mayor in 2019.
Fellow out lesbian Lori Lightfoot won in Chicago and Satya Rhodes-Conway won in Madison, Wisconsin.

Castor joins Teri Johnston, who became the first out lesbian mayor in Florida when she won office in Key West.

Annise Parker, the former mayor of Houston and president of the LGBTQ Victory Fund spoke to NBC News about the win.

“While voters chose Jane because of her vision for Tampa, her willingness to be open and honest about her life lent her an authenticity that voters are drawn to not just in Tampa, but across the nation,” Parker said.
Parker also told NBC News that 2019 was the “Year of the Lesbian Mayor,” because of the rise in elected lesbians in a big city (from 2 to 7 in 2019), and which could have another addition if Jolie Justus is elected mayor of Kansas City.

“Both LGBTQ people and women face tremendous obstacles in running for public office, but Jane’s victory shows lesbian candidates can win citywide office with a strong record of public service and policy priorities that align with their constituents,” Parker added.