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Harry Cohen is thinking about running for the Florida House

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

Tampa City Councilman Harry Cohen spoke to a packed room of constituents early Friday in South Tampa, on issues regarding stormwater, billboards in SoHo and how the city will handle the post-clean-up efforts after next weekend’s Gasparilla celebration.

It’s the type of outreach that he says he loves about his job at council, but he admits he’s thinking about serving them from a different place — such as the Florida House of Representatives.

“I’m going to look at,” Cohen said when asked about the possibility of him leaving the City Council to run for the House District 60 seat being vacated this fall by Dana Young, who will run for the newly created State Senate District 18 seat.

“I’m going to think about it, but as you can see, I’m extremely busy with the issues that I have on my plate, and those are my first responsibilities,” he said.

Cohen, a Democrat, lives in HD 60, which includes South Tampa and parts of western Hillsborough County. He says he doesn’t have any timetable about when he’ll make his decision to leave his District 4 seat, which he was re-elected to last April.

He says when there’s opportunity like this, however, “you have to look at it.”

“You think about it, and you wonder whether it comports with whatever is going on in your life. I’m very, very concerned about the stormwater and flooding and climate change issues that we talked about this morning, I think that was the number one issue that people wanted to talk about still. And there’s no question that the state has a tremendous role in dealing with that. But whether or not I could be more effective there more than here, I really don’t know the answer to that. And, I’m going to think about.”

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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