Tampa Mayor Jane Castor
We’ll admit it: CL, like the nearly 39,000 folks who voted for her over the late David Straz in a mayoral runoff, fell under the spell of electing Tampa’s first openly gay mayor. And until protests calling for police reform broke out in late May, Jane Castor was doing a hell of a job managing Tampa’s growth and standing up to members of the Hillsborough Emergency Policy Group who never seemed to grasp the seriousness of COVID-19. But for some reason (the 30-plus years as a cop, probably) Castor stumbled trying to find the right balance between serving every citizen and being a former chief of police. As a result, pro-police zealots are calling her “Castro Castor” for refusing to punish protesters at every turn, while protesters who’ve been hit by cars, arrested by police (only to have charges dropped) and ignored when they called for a reduction in the police budget are calling for her resignation. She’s in office until 2023, so she’ll have plenty of chances to change hearts and minds, so we’ll see what happens when, or if, she runs for reelection. —Ray Roa
See all winners from Best of the Bay 2020.