Turanchik Enters Race for Tampa Mayor
Ed Turanchik is a former Hillsborough County commissioner.
TAMPA – Long time civic leader and former Hillsborough County Commissioner Ed Turanchik filed Friday (Feb, 2) to run for mayor of the city of Tampa in 2019.
“I’ve always had a bold vision for Tampa,” Turanchik said. “I am pleased at how far we’ve come these past years, and proud of my contribution to our progress. But we have yet to realize our full potential. My purpose in running for Mayor is clear — to build a 21st century city that offers prosperity to all.”
Turanchik’s priorities include building a robust urban transit system, supporting all of Tampa’s major business districts while re-energizing the commercial corridors that connect them, and developing new, affordable homeownership and rental housing initiatives.
Turanchik also wants to foster a civic and economic environment that has innovation at its heart.
“Tampa should be one of the best places in America where good ideas and the people behind them can succeed,” Turanchik said, noting that his transit and community development priorities are closely linked to innovation. “New transit technology options coupled with new business and housing initiatives will help create an innovation culture. We cannot just say we are about innovation unless we are actually doing it in the civic sphere.”
Turanchik also stressed the importance of honest, ethical and fiscally prudent government, and wants to bring the business principles he learned from his private business experience to create a more efficient and flexible city government.
Turanchik is married to Tampa native Jenny Pierson. Their two adult children, Laura Jean and John Turanchik, attended Christ the King School and Plant High School. Jenny and Ed have lived in their same South Tampa home for 24 years.
Turanchik’s civic and political service spans three decades, starting with the Sierra Club, where he devised the plan for the county’s expanded environment lands program, successfully challenged the county’s growth plans, and led the opposition to a new power plant in Cockroach Bay, which is now a preserve. His environmental and growth management advocacy propelled him into an election to the Hillsborough County Commission in 1990. Turanchik aggressively advanced transit plans to unite the city, county, and region. He also led the effort to locate Amalie Arena in downtown Tampa. Turanchik provided critical leadership that ended more than 50 years of regional water wars, creating Tampa Bay Water. He also championed community-based planning, novel storm water solutions in Town ‘N Country and played a leading role on the county commissions that created Hillsborough County’s Health Care plan and supported the Community Investment Tax.
Turanchik’s leadership earned him recognition as the Public Servant of the Year by 1000 Friends of Florida, the first time any Hillsborough official earned the accolade. He was also recognized as Florida Audubon’s Local Elected Leader of the Year and received the first National Leadership Award by the National Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations.
After serving on the county commission, Turanchik started a new era of civic engagement as a private citizen and community leader. He led Florida’s bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games. The bid preserved the high-speed rail corridor between Tampa and Orlando and introduced ambitious plans for redevelopment of Tampa’s urban core. He later co-founded Civitas, which laid the foundation for the current Central Park, Tampa Heights, and West River development projects. Turanchik also formed InTown Homes and constructed more than $11 million of affordable homes in historic West Tampa.
When the federal government announced the availability of $8 billion for high speed rail, Turanchik rallied statewide business, labor and environmental groups through Connect Us to urge Florida to pursue the funds. The effort succeeded, and Florida was awarded $2.4 billion for its construction, but this funding was subsequently turned down by Gov. Rick Scott.
Turanchik ran for Tampa mayor in 2011 in a crowded field and received nearly 20 percent of the vote. He endorsed Mayor Bob Buckhorn in the run-off and actively campaigned for him.
Since then, Turanchik has worked as an attorney with the Florida law firm Akerman LLP, one of the largest in the nation. He works in the public policy practice group with a focus on public-private partnerships. That work included developing and introducing both the Tampa Bay Passenger Ferry project and the successful Cross Bay Ferry project. Turanchik’s work on behalf of private clients has also included revitalizing Hyde Park Village, early work on the Water Street Project, championing competitive bids for the County’s waste collection services, and protecting wetlands.
For information about Turanchik, go to edturanchik.com.
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