Former Tampa City Council member Joseph Caetano is running to retake the North Tampa seat he lost to Lisa Montelione three years ago.
A resident of the New Tampa Grand Hampton subdivision, Caetano, 80, served District 7 on the City Council for a single term between 2007 and 2011.
Caetano blamed his 2011 loss to the 14 percent voter turnout, the lowest that year of any Tampa district.
“There’s no excitement up in New Tampa when somebody’s running,” Caetano told the Tampa Bay Times. “That’s why I filed early, so I can start early.”
Montelione, the current District 7 council member, plans to run for re-election and expects to launch her re-election campaign in the next few weeks. Drawing opposition was no surprise.
“It’s unrealistic to expect that any of us are not going to draw opponents,” she said. “I was just waiting to see who it’s going to be.”
Caetano received 19 percent of the vote last time he ran, finishing third in a four-candidate primary.
District 7 includes New Tampa, Forest Hills and Terrace Park, and the area around the University of South Florida and Busch Gardens.