Tampa City Council candidate Alan Clendenin will officially kick off his campaign on Dec. 1 at the Cuban Club in Ybor City.

Clendenin is running for the District 1 seat currently occupied by City Council Chair Joe Citro, who is seeking re-election. 

The event starts at 5:30 p.m. and runs through 7:30. A Facebook event page for the kick-off shows the host committee still under formation, but dozens of supporters have already signed on, including state Reps. Fentrice Driskell and Dianne Hart, former Rep. Andrew Learned, Hillsborough County Clerk of the Court Cindy Stuart, suspended Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren, former Hillsborough County Clerk Pat Frank and nearly 50 other community leaders and advocates. 

Clendenin hopes to improve on his 2019 City Council bid, in which he lost in the General Election to Citro and Walter Smith (Smith is now serving on Clendenin’s host committee) with just over 19% of the vote. Citro went on to defeat Smith in the runoff election.

Clendenin and Citro are among four filed candidates for the seat but the only two to have posted any fundraising as of the end of October. Clendenin has brought in just over $11,000, while Citro has raised nearly $16,000. Sonja Brookins entered the race in March, while Chase Harrison just joined last week and won’t post his first fundraising report until next month. 

Clendenin also previously ran unsuccessfully for Hillsborough County School Board. 

This time around, he’s running to bring what he describes as a needed change to Tampa City Council, which has faced several tumultuous issues recently, including the resignation of John Dingfelder amid a public records lawsuit and the resignation of Orlando Gudes as Council chair over allegations of sexual harassment. 

“The ringmaster of this circus and its current Chairman, Joe Citro, has spent more time grandstanding during meetings, attending ribbon cuttings, and taking selfies than focused on what the voters elected him to do. Voters want solutions, not more drama. Our campaign will give voters a clear choice between someone who fosters dysfunction or someone that will put the drama aside to address the problems facing our city,” Clendenin previously said of his candidacy. 

Clendenin was appointed to the Tampa Civil Service Board by Mayor Jane Castor. He also serves on the Tampa Bay Area Committee on Foreign Relations.

He has been heavily involved in Democratic party politics, chairing the Florida Democratic Party Platform Committee. He also vied in the past for the position of state Chair.

According to earlier reporting, he focused on local issues in announcing his candidacy in Tampa.

“Our city faces mounting challenges regarding affordable housing, economic opportunity, transportation, public safety and ensuring climate readiness to protect our way of life,” Clendenin said at the time.

“As a small business owner, community leader, parent and 37-year resident of Tampa, I have met every challenge and obstacle in front of me with the goal to foster meaningful growth. My management and leadership skills and ability to get things done will bring people together, create positive change to the city, and bring bold leadership to City Council. I will represent all of the neighborhoods in our growing and diverse city.”

Tampa city elections are on March 7.

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