Jane Castor sworn in as Tampa’s 59th, first openly LGBTQ mayor

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | Jane Castor was officially sworn into office in a historical ceremony at Armature Works May 1, becoming Tampa’s 59th and first openly LGBTQ mayor.

The gathering began with a procession of Mayor Castor and her family, including longtime partner Ana Cruz and sons Sergei and Seely. Her oath was administered after an invocation, several performances and the swearing in of Tampa’s city council members Joseph Citro, Charlie Miranda, John Dingfelder, Bill Carlson, Orlando Gudes, Guido Maniscalco and Luis Viera.

“I see so many friends here this morning and I am so happy and thankful that you’ve taken the time to share this moment with me and our city,” Castor addressed over 1,000 attendees. “I would not be standing here today if it were not for your support and friendship.

“When I began this process of running for mayor 12 very long months ago, I asked you to stand with me and for this city that we all love so much, and boy did you deliver. Your unwavering support, your boundless generosity and your votes all made this day possible. I will remain forever grateful for your encouragement and I will work tirelessly every day to maintain your trust.”

Castor subsequently thanked her sons, advising they will “remain the greatest accomplishment of my life,” as well as Cruz. “I’m so thankful that you’re in my life,” Castor shared. “You’re my best friend, my confidant. My critic, my most ardent supporter … I love you.”

Addressing the city’s former mayors in attendance, including her predecessor Bob Buckhorn, Castor praised Tampa’s trajectory and credited them for their contributions. She also thanked the city’s outgoing councilmembers and congratulated its returning and new members, noting she looked forward to working together.

The City of Tampa shared a collection of photos from the gathering via social media:

There's a new mayor in town! Congratulations to Jane Castor for Mayor and our new City Council members. Tampa's future…

Posted by City of Tampa Government on Wednesday, May 1, 2019

During the ceremony, Castor advised Tampa is a community that embraces its diversity, celebrating success and tackling tough issues. “Because I believe Tampa’s rich narrative is only as compelling and relevant as the collection of individual narratives that comprise our diverse community,” she added, “it is my hope that someday we will reach a point where everyone is judged by the content of their character, rather than the color of their skin. That no one loses their life because of the god they worship, and that who you love does not matter as much as that you love, and that you are loved.”

Castor also shared a favorite quote from poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail,” vowing to do exactly that.

“The significance of my standing before you today is certainly not lost on me,” she concluded. “We have an amazing opportunity to build something really special here, a world class city … Join me in making Tampa the city we know it can be. As your next mayor, I want you to know that I have never been more hopeful and excited about Tampa’s future than I am today.”

Following the ceremony, Castor marked the historical occasion by sharing a photo with her family via social media. “Thankful to have these goofballs by my side as I start my journey as City of Tampa’s new mayor,” she wrote. “Your love and support have been a guiding light for me through every step of my career.”

Thankful to have these goofballs by my side as I start my journey as City of Tampa’s new mayor. Your love and support have been a guiding light for me through every step of my career.

Posted by Tampa Mayor Jane Castor on Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Read Watermark’s in-depth coverage of Castor’s historic campaign here.

Photo courtesy City of Tampa Government’s Facebook page.

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