Tampa Democrat Kathy Castor has now been in Washington for a decade, but Hillary Clinton’s loss in November to Donald Trump definitely hurt her ability to change policy in Washington. That’s because this is the first time since she was elected in 2006 that she is in a party that neither controls the House of Representatives or the White House, prompting rumors that she was considering a run for Tampa mayor in 2019 (at press time, Castor declined to respond to that story).
Though Republicans have controlled Capitol Hill since 2010, Castor was influential in working with President Barack Obama in having him re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba in December 2014.
Although redistricting reduced the number of Democrats in her congressional district in 2016, it didn’t appear that way at the polls in November, as she blew away Republican Christine Quinn by 24 percentage points.
Castor moves up from No. 10 to No. 8 in this year’s survey.
Joe Henderson’s Take
“The only question is how long this unabashed liberal wants to stay in Congress. She has a safe seat, so being re-elected is not the issue. There is a lot of chatter about her running for mayor of Tampa in 2019, and I think she would win easily. She is bright, engaging, informed and focused. What’s not to like, other than the fact Democrats for the moment have little power in Washington.”
For a complete explanation of how this list was created and who made up the panel that amassed it, please read here.