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John Dingfelder wants to return to Tampa City Council in 2019

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

It’s been seven years since John Dingfelder had to abruptly leave his Tampa City Council seat after more than seven years of service, and he has the itch to return.

“I’m all in,” Dingfelder said Thursday night at a fundraiser for St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman. “I can’t tell you which district.”

The expectation has been that Dingfelder would run again in the South Tampa District 4 seat currently occupied by Harry Cohen that will become vacant in 2019. However, there are several others discussing a run in that district.

Dingfelder said it could be the District 1 citywide seat being held by Mike Suarez. Then again, districts 1-3 are all citywide seats, so the determining factor for him could be his evaluation of the competition going into 2019.

“I’m just exploring it,” he said. “Some people have said, ‘John, why don’t you take on a new challenge?’ It’s a different challenge. Definitely different issues citywide.”

Dingfelder is an attorney who has dabbled in real estate in recent years, and has been serving as an alternate on the city’s Variance Review Board.

He served on the council from 2003-10, often voting alongside Mary Mulhern and Linda Saul-Sena as the progressive wing on the council in the Pam Iorio era—with the triumvirate being on the losing side of many 4-3 votes.

His career on Council ended abruptly in 2010, however, after a judge ruled that he and Saul-Sena had missed the deadline for declaring their candidacies for the Hillsborough County Commission.

Dingfelder lost a bid for the County Commission District 1 race that year to Sandy Murman.

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Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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