Yvonne Yolie Capin is hoping to move from Tampa City Council to a spot on the Hillsborough County Commission.
Currently the longest-serving member of the Council, Capin filed Wednesday for the District 1 seat to be vacated when incumbent Sandy Murman steps down to run in District 5 next year.
“I feel that my expertise in land use will come very handy,” Capin said, in saying why she’s chosen to run for the county commission. “Growth management is very important in the county, and I believe we need to work on ending suburban sprawl.”
As Council Chair, Capin had been considered a candidate in the mix for the Tampa mayoral race when term-limited Bob Buckhorn steps down in 2019. When asked last Friday, Capin deflected a direct question about her thoughts about that position, joking that she would only confirm she is not running for governor next year.
A Democrat, Capin says that in working recently with Hillsborough County GOP Commissioner Ken Hagan on a cultural assets commission she has shown that she can work effectively with lawmakers on the other side of the aisle (the Council has been completely in Democratic hands since 2011).
On transportation, a huge issue for the Commission, Capin was reluctant to state her support for another attempt to put a transit measure on an upcoming ballot, saying she wants to wait and see what comes out of the premium transit study being conducted by FDOT and HART.
Murman has represented District 1 — which encompasses northwest Hillsborough County, Westshore, South Tampa and most of the southeastern part of the county — since 2010.
Last fall, Murman was re-elected to another four-year term, but recently announced she will step down next year to run for the countywide District 5 seat, which will open after the departure of term-limited Hagan.
Because Murman intends to leave next year (not even halfway through her term), a special election will take place for the seat next November.
Another prominent Democrat rumored to be considering a run for this county seat is Tampa state Rep. Janet Cruz.