Castor said her victory “sends a resounding message to our community — no, it sends a resounding message to the nation — that Tampa celebrates its diversity and lifts everyone up in a positive way.”
“We don’t tear people down with negativity,” Castor said to a crowd of supporters, “so thank you all for believing in that message.”
Her opponent, businessman David Straz, conceded the nonpartisan race.
Castor served 31 years at the Tampa Police Department, first as a beat cop and then six years as police chief, according to her campaign website.
The former police chief was backed by the Human Rights Campaign and the Equality Florida Action PAC.
The senior political director of Equality Florida, Joe Saunders, had said in a news release backing Castor, “Representation matters, especially for LGBTQ families. When Jane wins, she will be Tampa’s first LGBTQ mayor, the first LGBTQ woman to lead one of Florida’s largest cities and the only LGBTQ woman leading a major U.S. city in the southeast United States.”
Castor, in her victory remarks, said, “I have never been more hopeful or more excited about our city’s future.”