On the third ballot, the 5 members of the Tampa City Council this morning chose Curtis Stokes, former head of the Hillsborough County branch of the NAACP, to succeed Linda Saul-Sena in the District 3 at large seat that was vacated when Saul-Sena resigned from the board last month.
There had been a total of 39 people who applied for District 3, though not all appeared this morning to give their two minute speech to the Council on why they should be the chosen one.
Stokes now becomes the third African-American on the board, along with Council Chair Thomas Scott and councilwoman Gwen Miller.
After the first round of voting, Stokes had two votes, while former City Councilwoman Mary Alvarez, former Hillsborough County Commissioner and City Councilman Joe Chillura, and civic activist Mimi Osiason, all had one vote apiece.
The City Council is now hearing from applicants for the District 4 South Tampa seat that was vacated by John Dingfelder last month.
Meanwhile, Linda Saul-Sena has officially dropped out of the Hillsborough County Commission race for District 5, with the expectation that the Hillsborough County Democratic Executive Committee will nominate her at a future meeting - which could be tonight (Hillsborough Dems are scheduled to have their July meeting at the Children's Board in Ybor City).
Saul-Sena is employing the same legal strategy that John Dingfelder employed several weeks ago, in resigning from the race. Both Dingfelder and Saul-Sena, as well as the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections, Earl Lennard, and Dawn Roberts, interim Secretary of State, are being sued by individual Republicans in Hillsborough County, challenging their legal status on the November ballot after they both missed a deadline to announce that they would be resigning to run for County Commission.