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Avis Harrison declares her candidacy in Tampa City Council District 7 race

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Avis Harrison filed papers to run for the Tampa City Council District 7 seat last week, but only now is discussing who she is and why she’s running for office.

“Our community has to fight for everything. From our own ambulance to our own fire truck, to expanded community policing to traffic improvement and drainage plans, District 7 is always last.Well, I refuse to let us continue to be last and that’s why I’m asking my friends and neighbors to send me to City Hall,” Harrison said in a statement released Thursday afternoon.

“The communities in the northern portion of our city has specific and varied needs from crime prevention to code enforcement.  Its time those needs were met,”  she added.

Harrison becomes the sixth person to file to run for the North Tampa seat, being vacated later this year by Lisa Montelione, who is running for a state house seat.

Describing herself as a community activist and a mother, Harrison is a native of the Panhandle who went on to become a public school teacher in the Escambia County School District.

In her press release, she says that she is inspired to serve by her late husband John, a Southwest Airlines pilot for 22 years who recently lost a battle with cancer.

Harrison will face emergency room physician Jim Davison, assistant newspaper editor Gene Siudut, attorney Luis VieraDr. Cyril Spiro and former Tampa Police officer Orlando Gudes in the contest, which will take place on November 8.




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

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