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Former Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn was elected to lead the City of Tampa out of the Great Recession. His vision has helped transform the city into a place where people want to live, work, play and invest. Buckhorn joins SalterMitchell PR CEO and Founder April Salter to discuss the roots of his political DNA, his storied career in Tampa, and why he believes mayors can make the biggest impact on a city.
Chris Cate: Welcome to the Fluent in Floridian podcast featuring the Sunshine State's brightest leaders talking about the issues most important to the people of Florida, and its millions of weekly visitors. In this episode, created by SalterMitchell PR, our executive producer, April Salter, the CEO of SalterMitchell PR talks to former Tampa Mayor, Bob Buckhorn.
April Salter: Well, good morning, Bob. I am delighted to have you here as a guest on Fluent in Floridian. You have done so many things in the state of Florida, been such an important part of our history, and I just wanted to welcome you and thank you for your time today.
Bob Buckhorn: Well, April, thanks for the opportunity to be here. Clearly, you have been talking to my mother because I don't know that anybody else thinks that highly of me, but I appreciate the opportunity to come spend some time with you, particularly given that we have a relationship that goes back 35-plus years.
April Salter: That's right, that's right. And Bob, why don't you start by telling our listeners, just give us a little bit about yourself. How did you come to Florida? I know you weren't born here, but how did you arrive in Florida and give us a little bit about your career.
Bob Buckhorn: Well, it's an interesting story, April, and I will keep it brief, but I think it is reflective of the diversity and the mix here in this state. When I graduated from college a year after that, I was selected for aviation officer candidate school. I had volunteered to serve my country. I wanted to fly jets and I wanted to compete with the best of the best and see whether I measured up. And so I went to Naval Aviation Officer Candidate School, Pensacola, Florida. This is after passing all of the Class A flight physicals just to get selected. Once I got down there, they diagnosed me as having a degeneration of one of my corneas, which obviously for an aspiring fighter pilot was not a particularly good thing. And they discharged me. And I literally left Pensacola Naval Air Station with a 1966 Dodge Dart with no air conditioning, which is not a good thing in the state of Florida.
I had one suit, I had $300 in discharge pay, and I had nowhere else to go. I had a fraternity brother that had moved to Tampa, and so I drove from Pensacola Naval Air Station down to Tampa, Florida. This was 1982, and basically just crashed on his floor or his couch. He moved about six months later. And then I didn't know anybody here and I really didn't come from anything. I wasn't anybody that had any relationships here at all. And so I just started scratching and clawing my way up. I never left, started volunteering in political campaigns and 30-plus years later, I became the mayor of this amazing city. But it started out with very, very humble beginnings in a city where I didn't know a soul and have really grown to love this place with an immigrants fervor because this was not my home, April. This was someplace that I was just lucky enough to land and lucky enough to create a life here, and I've loved virtually every minute of it.
April Salter: That's great. And Bob, I knew that you grew up in Pennsylvania, and-
Bob Buckhorn: Well, I went to school in Pennsylvania, April. I went to Penn State, but I grew up in Northern Virginia.
April Salter: Okay. And so what sort of spurred your interest as a kid? What did you think you were going to be doing?
Bob Buckhorn: It's interesting. My father was a journalist. He was a reporter for UPI back in UPI's heyday. He covered largely transportation issues in the DC area. And so when you grow up there, politics is like malaria. I mean, once you get it in your system, you can't get rid of it. And it is the currency of every conversation in that area, and it's just... You kind of grow up in that environment. You have the Washington Post on your doorstep every day. I can tell you that my first campaign, and you're going to laugh, was in 1968, Bobby Kennedy was running for president. Being an Irish Catholic family, the Kennedys were iconic figures in our life. I used to have my mother at age 10 drive me down to Bobby Kennedy's campaign headquarters and leave me.
Now, you can't do that anymore. But she would leave me and I would just sit there in a corner and stuff envelopes or put stamps on envelopes. And that's really how I got started. I was running as Bobby Kennedy in my fourth-grade class. And ever since then, I knew that public service was going to be a part of my DNA. My father used to tell me that it's the most honorable calling that you could have, and obviously, you don't do it to make money because I could have chosen a lot of other paths if that was what I wanted to do, but I wanted to serve. And so that is how I began, as a fourth-grade kid stuffing envelopes for Bobby Kennedy.
April Salter: Wow. And with your father being a UPI reporter, clearly, that's United Press International, which is a wire service like the associated presses today. For those younger listeners who may not even know what UPI is, did you feel like... Did your parents encourage that interest in politics? Obviously, your dad felt that it was very honorable. That's something that's really changed, I think in the public perception these days. People don't honor that public service as much as they did, but did you sit around your dinner table and talk politics as a family or with neighbors?
Bob Buckhorn: We did. I mean, it was part of who we were and the upbringing that I had. Obviously, when you're surrounded by people who are involved in government and bear in mind, you're absolutely right, not only do they not honor it, but they denigrate those that choose to serve and describe all kinds of ill-informed-
April Salter: Nefarious.
Bob Buckhorn: Opinions and reasons as to why people serve. For me, that was my calling and that's where I knew I could have the biggest impact, and that's what I wanted to do growing up. And the large part of that was the influence of my parents. My dad sometimes would take me down to the district when he was covering things. For example, I remember vividly going to John Kennedy's funeral. Now, I was young, very, very young. He took me to what I think they referred to at the time as the Poor People's March in DC in the mid-sixties where many, many people came to Washington DC to protest, whether it was civil rights or whether it was any of the issues of the day, which there were many at that time. The Vietnam War obviously was a big part of that. And he took me down there, and I remember being down on the mall in DC surrounded by thousands of people who literally had camped out and had come to Washington DC to express their opinions and to hope to try and move public policy. So absolutely, yeah, it had a big impact on me as a kid.
April Salter: I can't even imagine that moment in history and being a young boy experiencing that. I am sure that had quite an imprint on you.
Bob Buckhorn: It did. For sure, it did. Particularly given... And it's not that different from the times we find ourselves in that [inaudible 00:07:58]. I mean, there was a lot of upheaval in the country. It was the sixties, the Vietnam War was going on. There were very deep opinions being expressed about that on both sides of the issue. And it's not that dissimilar to what we are experiencing now where the country was divided. I don't think what we are living through now is quite the same thing. There was no attempt to overthrow our government, but there were certainly struggles and issues in our country that led to Americans being pitted against each other.
April Salter: Sure, sure. And so Bob, here you are a young man. You come down to Tampa, as you say, with your Dodge Dart, and then you got immersed in the politics of the growing city of Tampa. I mean, I think when you came down, the population of Florida overall couldn't have been more than eight or nine million, and now we're at 20-plus million. So if it was a different city back then, you started working, I guess with Sandy Freeman, who was a very defining kind of mayor for Tampa. Tell us a little bit about that experience and what you contributed, what you learned.
Bob Buckhorn: Well, it was amazing because when I first moved down here, one of the first people that I met was another iconic woman in politics, and that was Pat Frank.
April Salter: Oh, wow.
Bob Buckhorn: Pat Frank was at that point, a state senator, and she went on to a long and illustrious career, literally just retiring two years ago as the clerk of the court. Well, Pat Frank had all daughters, and so she practically adopted me, is the one son in the family. And through Pat Frank, I met Sandy Freeman, who was then on the city council who went on to become the first woman mayor of the city of Tampa, and if I'm not mistaken, the first Jewish mayor in the city of Tampa. And so those two strong, powerful women had a big influence on my life early on in Tampa. I coordinated Sandy's campaign, came on board with her when she was elected as her assistant, which is where you and I met April, served as her assistant for eight years, and then was elected twice to the Tampa City Council.
And what I realized in that period working for Sandy was that there was one job in which you could shape a city, you could change a city, you could leave an imprint on a city and that was as the mayor. And that was particularly true because we have a very, very strong mayor form of government here. And so I realized very quickly that local government was where the action was. It was the place that you could have the biggest impact and the job that you could have the biggest impact from was the office of the mayor. And so that was the beginning of my aspirations to eventually become the mayor. It took longer than I had anticipated. It involved victories and defeats. But in 2011, after losing a mayor's race in 2003 to my friend Pam Iorio, and coming back eight years later and winning, I had the opportunity to contribute to what Tampa has become.
April Salter: And so Bob, as we sit here today, there are elections in progress, and probably when the show airs, new mayors will be installed in cities across Florida. Obviously, Tampa's one of the largest cities, but for all mayors coming in, what advice or what kind of advice would you offer to them?
Bob Buckhorn: Well, a couple of things. A couple things. One, first and foremost, leave the partisanship at the door. There really is no room for that in this job. This is a job where it doesn't matter whether you're a Democrat or a Republican. It is a job that involves the building of your city and the running of, in essence, what is a business. There is no Democratic or Republican way to fix a pothole. You just do it. And so for me, I wasn't the Democratic mayor of Tampa. I was the mayor of Tampa and tried to be respectful and to serve everybody who elected me because it's a very, very different job, April. It's a job where you're expected to perform, where you don't have the luxury of just talking about things. You don't have the luxury of getting into a cultural war. Your job is to run a city, to advance a city, to build a city, to balance a two billion dollar budget, to run 4,500 employees to make sure the trash gets picked up, that the water comes on when you turn the faucet, that the toilets flush, that your streets are safe, and that their firefighters are out there putting out fires. You don't have the luxury of this partisan warfare that we see now. And I think candidly, that mayor should run the world because mayors...
April Salter: Said like a mayor.
Bob Buckhorn: Head like a mayor. And most mayors would agree with you, and most mayors are both Democratic, Republican, but they tend to not really have the luxury of caring about all the other stuff that we find ourselves bogged down in, entrenched in this warfare over who's a Democrat, who's a Republican, which has paralyzed our country, certainly at the national level, but increasingly at the state level and led to people disbelieving in the power of government, the ability government to do great things. So mayors have a unique job. It's the toughest job in America because the challenges of running a big city are so intractable, the guns and the gangs and the violence and the poverty and the income inequality. It was mayors who were on the front line of the COVID response. We were the ones that actually had to get in there and deal with it on a day-to-day basis. We didn't have the luxury of talking about it. We had to actually do it. So for me, it's the best job in politics. It's the only job in politics that I aspire to. And it's the job that I think you can have the biggest impact on your community is as a mayor, particularly in a strong mayor, former government.
April Salter: Tampa is a unique city. It's one of my favorite cities in the state. It's very diverse. It's always had a thriving economy. It continues to grow and in pretty smart ways. My mother and father live in New Port Richey. My daughter lives in St. Pete. And so I have lots of reasons as well as business to be in Tampa. But it's such a mixture from universities, world-class healthcare, very complicated transportation issues, very complicated environmental issues. And how involved in all of these things were you? I mean, what is the thing that you spent the most time on? Obviously, everyone fixes potholes, obviously everybody has to put out fires as mayor, but what were the things that during your administration, were really every day you had to work on this issue? What were those?
Bob Buckhorn: Well, great question. And bear in mind that when I came into office in 2011, we were in the midst of the worst recession since the great-
April Salter: Right.
Bob Buckhorn: Tampa had become a donor city of talent. Our bright young people to places like Charlotte, North Carolina, and Austin, Texas, and Atlanta. I mean, we were hemorrhaging young people who were raised here or came here to go to school but were not staying here because the opportunities didn't exist. We had some 4,000 houses in some state of foreclosure or distress. Companies were shutting down, jobs were fleeing, people were fleeing. That's what I walked into when I became the mayor. And so for me, it became a question of do we get off the mat or not? Do we remain a third-tier city or not. And am I going to be able to lay out a vision that would inspire people to believe that our best days were yet to come, that yeah, it's really dark now, but at dawn comes the light? And could I convince people that the [inaudible 00:16:46] was coming and that if we stuck together and hung together, we could build what has become today one of the hottest real estate markets in America and one of the fastest growing cities in America?
And so in order to do that, we had to lay out a vision. We had to articulate that vision. We had to drive that vision every day, April. Every speech I gave, it always came back to we're going to get there. We're going to get there together. We're going to do these certain things. We're going to focus on the waterfront as the best asset that we have. We're tired of turning our backs on the river. We're going to make that river the center of everything we do, and we're going to create a downtown that people want to come live, work, play, and invest. You were absolutely right. Tampa is like a paella. It is a mix of all kinds of amazing recipes that if you looked at them alone, you would never think that they would be able to create the amazing dish that a paella is. Our diversity, which we celebrate is a strength.
The fact that we speak multiple languages here because of the immigration patterns to Tampa over the last hundred years. We have a major university, a growing university here at USF and the University of Tampa. We've got [inaudible 00:18:03] just exploded and transformed our community in ways that none of us could have imagined 20 years ago. But it took this entire community to pull together and to believe in our capacity to be great. And every day we would find ways to deliver on the promises that we made so that people knew it was not just political happy talk, that there were real results married to this vision. Transportation is always going to be a problem for us. It is our Achilles heel, and in the absence of mass transit in a multimodal system and a bus system that is robust and worthy of a city of this size, we're going to continue to struggle.
We need to fix that. Obviously, the environment is critically important, particularly in this generation climate change. So we have all of the challenges of any big city, particularly any rapidly growing city. But I would tell you that the transformation of this community over the last 10 years has been nothing more than earth-shattering if you will. When you think about how far we have come and yet how far we are capable of going. Tampa has become that place April, where instead of those kids going to Charlotte or to Austin, they are all coming here now. And you see it every day on the streets of Tampa.
April Salter: Yeah, I really spent some time there about six months ago, and I had not really walked the streets and sat in the restaurants, and been on the waterfront in a long time. And I was just amazed at how much growth, how much vitality, and energy there was on the streets of Tampa. So kudos to you and also to the... I know hundreds and thousands of community members who hung together and really made that vision happen. So it really is a remarkable success story.
Bob Buckhorn: So much so April that in the last 10 days, I have been to Jacksonville to speak to Scenic Jacksonville about the very same issue of their undeveloped and unfulfilled potential of their waterfront. And then just last week, I was in Nashville talking to a thousand people at the Nashville Downtown Partnership about the very same topic. I mean, Nashville's booming, but they have a waterfront that is underappreciated, underutilized, and they want to know from the Tampa story how we managed to do that. So the word is spreading. I mean, every time we host a Super Bowl, and this is our fifth one, more people get to see this community and more people inevitably, like you walk away saying, wow, I never knew that existed. I hadn't been there in 10 years. It was nothing like it was 10 years ago. Thanks to... As you indicated the work of a lot of people and a city that believed in that potential and that opportunity, we've become what we aspire to be.
Chris Cate: The Fluent in Floridian podcast is brought to you by SalterMitchell PR, a communications' consultancy focused on helping good causes win. We provide strategic insight and guidance to organizations seeking to make an impact in the nation's third most populous state. Learn more at smprflorida.com. Now back to April's interview with former Tampa mayor, Bob Buckhorn.
April Salter: I know that your wife is a very distinguished doctor and women's health provider. What has that been like?
Bob Buckhorn: Well, some days I'm just Mr. Dr. Lynch. Yeah, you're right. And thank you. My wife is a very highly regarded OBGYN here in town. She has delivered thousands of voters as we look at them. Tampa General Hospital may have been my best precinct because in typical Irish faculty, they're all registered as Democrats at that location.
April Salter: As long as they knew that she was your wife, you got the vote.
Bob Buckhorn: Yeah. This is the same woman who has delivered an orangutan at Bush Gardens by a C-section.
April Salter: Oh, wow.
Bob Buckhorn: So she is very accomplished in her own way, and for us... Obviously, she's got a very busy life. She is somebody who didn't need me to be a star. And so juggling for those eight years our schedules, was just something that we did. I mean, we had two young daughters at the time. They are now 21 and 17. And so we needed to make sure that we were there, that we were present in their lives, that we were active in their lives. I mean, even as mayor, I would load them into the Mayor Mobile every day. And that black suburban, I would drive them to school, and that was my daddy daughter. And so we just did it and we couldn't be prouder of the two of them. And they've grown up with some amazing experiences. And yes, dad wasn't home as much as most dads, but they were very much active in my life. And I've took them... The best thing about that, April is they got to see parts of the community and meet people and interact with people and understand that not every kid or every family in Tampa, Florida was as blessed as they are.
They got exposed to that. I mean, they have spent hours in our African American churches. They have spent hours in the Cuban coffee shops in Tampa. They know this community in all of its diversity and shades and hues and ethnicities and orientations. And as a result, they are better kids and more empathetic kids and kids that understand that they are very lucky and that their job is to help other people as well. So from that perspective, we've had a great life and great experiences. And now I'm back to being Mr. Dr. Lynch and my wife is back to being the star of the family. And I just do what I'm told by all of them.
April Salter: And so what is your hope long-term for your girls and for their futures? Are they looking like they're going to stay in Tampa, or what does that look like?
Bob Buckhorn: Well, April, I ran an entire campaign in 2011 saying I wasn't going to lose my girls to Charlotte, North Carolina. Now they were eight and 10, so they really didn't have a choice, but it became a great rhetorical crutch for me and something that everybody in the city understood because they knew what was happening. My oldest daughter goes to Penn State, which is where I went to school. She's a senior, probably going to law school in the fall. My little one is starting that college search process. My wife and I have told them, go wherever you want to go. You don't have to necessarily stay in the state of Florida. We want you to come home to the state of Florida, and we would love for you to come home to... As I tell them, the city that your daddy built.
April Salter: No pressure there kids, no pressure at all.
Bob Buckhorn: God help me if they were to go to Charlotte, North Carolina because that would be a problem for me. But they're good kids. They're savvy kids, they're kind kids. They're great students. So Florida is their home. And so obviously, we want them to come home here, but we'll support them in whatever endeavors they do.
April Salter: So Bob, what advice would you give to a young person who maybe has a little bit of that fire in the belly for politics? What would you say to them about how to get involved and how to make a difference for the state?
Bob Buckhorn: Well, I mean, my suggestion is to start out the way I started out, which is volunteering in campaigns. I mean, you need to understand what the process is and how it works. Obviously, it's changed since I was that age. It's even changed since my last election, which was in 2015. It has become uglier. It has become nastier. It has become more vitriolic. It's almost a race to the bottom as opposed to the aspirational components of public life and public service that I grew up with. But there is always a need. And we need folks who are willing to rise above the partisanship, rise above the vitriol, rise above the desire to divide people as opposed to unite people, to create an agenda for their communities or an agenda for their state. That isn't a cultural war, but that is aspirational in its nature. And where you can inspire Floridians to believe in something bigger than just themselves and what we can become. It should not be a race to the bottom, which is what it has become. So, anybody who would come to me, I would warn them that it's a contact sport, but it is still, April the most audible calling that you could have. And we need good people in public service, otherwise, we end up with bad people and this division in our country continues to worsen.
April Salter: I so agree with you. And I think we have to really celebrate those people who give themselves to public service because there are not the big rewards that there are in the private sector. There's a lot of headaches, but also a lot of it makes you feel really good at the end of the day for what you've been able to achieve for the people. So I appreciate those comments. Bob, now that you have left the mayor's office, you're into private sector again, and it looks to me like you're advocating to continue to grow Tampa and to bring new projects. Tell us a little bit about the work you're doing now.
Bob Buckhorn: I took about a year and a half off and got hobbies, which I never had before. Kind of hard to have a hobby when you're working seven days a week and when you're the mayor, you're never not the mayor. So I enjoyed that time off. Did a lot of fishing, a lot of hunting. My wife says I have enough camo to equip the United States Army, but I also realized after a year and a half that I'm not wired to just do hobbies. I can't play golf every day. I'm just not cut out to do that. As much fun as that was. So I went back to work. I joined law firm, Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick. We have a portion of the firm, which is called Shumaker Advisors. I am not a lawyer by trade, although I play one on TV sometimes. But there are a number of us here that... Including my friend and colleague, the former mayor of St. Petersburg, Rick Kriseman, who is over here with us, as well as David Jolly, the former congressman from Pinellas County, Sandy Merman, and Les Miller, former county commissioners. And we tend to operate at the intersection between government, public policy. We have a lobbying firm in Tallahassee, headed up by Allen Suski.
So I don't lobby, but I provide strategic advice for companies who are looking to come into the marketplace, who want to know the history of how this city developed, how to avoid the potholes, help people build relationships. And I've enjoyed it. I mean, it's been fun. It's good to suit up again and be back downtown and back doing what I love to do. And yes, April, I will never stop being Tampa's biggest cheerleader, and I will take that message on the road anytime anybody wants me to come out. Mayor Castor, my successor worked for me as my police chief for six years, and I could not be happier having been able to pass the torch to her. And she's doing a great job. She's up for reelection this spring. She's going to win hands down if she gets opposition at all. And so I couldn't be prouder of her. And she is continuing the progress of this community as well as putting her stamp on it in her own unique way. And so Tampa's on the move and I could not be happier for it and happy to have done just a little bit to help it get to this place.
April Salter: Well, thank you, Bob. It's been a real pleasure to talk to you today. We always wrap up these interviews with a couple of quick questions here. So let me start. Who's a Florida leader that you admire? This could be somebody currently serving, in the past, et cetera.
Bob Buckhorn: Lawton Chiles.
April Salter: I always wonder if people say that because I'm the one interviewing them.
Bob Buckhorn: No, no, it's not April. It really isn't. I admired him for his character, for his dignity, for his ability to reach across the aisle and work both sides of the aisle. He was reflective of what Florida is and had become, but he did it in a very unassuming kind way, and I really appreciated getting to know him. And Florida was a better place because he served.
April Salter: Absolutely. And what is a person, place, or thing in Florida that you think deserves more attention? This could be anything that you just feel like people aren't talking about that they really should either appreciate or focus on.
Bob Buckhorn: Well, I know they're not talking about it because the conversations that we seem to be having this season, if you will, are all about cultural issues. I don't think I have seen anybody probably since Jeb Bush and [inaudible 00:32:08] lay out an agenda for Florida that is aspirational. Now, I may not have had differences of opinions with them, but they were thoughtful. They were policy people. They had a vision, they did their homework, and executed on that vision. And we haven't had anybody since then that really has talked to Floridians about where we're going and how we're going to get there. Not how we're going to divide people and not how we're going to punish people, but it's more who we are, the potential that we possess, what that future could look like, and these are the steps that we're going to take to do it. Whether it's building a world class education system, building what is already one of the largest economies in the world, building Florida as a destination for talent, making Florida the place in America that everybody wants to be, and claiming our rightful place amongst the United States. I mean, we should be the economic engine that is driving this country. We are capable of it. We have the potential to do it if we'd stop denigrating the process and denigrating the debate by silly, ridiculous issues that don't advance anything other than people's political careers.
April Salter: I should have asked this earlier, but you won reelection with 95% of the vote. I've never heard of anyone winning reelection with 95% of the vote. Would you ever consider running for office again? Just hearing you talk, I think, wow. What [inaudible 00:33:50] candidate for governor?
Bob Buckhorn: Well, thank you, April. I considered it really strongly four years ago when it was an open seat, actually came very close to doing it. There are some days that I regret not doing it, but there are a lot of days that I am happy that the decision I made was to be a good dad and not necessarily a good candidate. My oldest daughter was just through the college search process. I didn't want to miss that. I knew I would never have a shot at that again. And for me, that was far more important than advancing my political career. The reality was I had the job that I aspired for and I wanted to finish it, but there are some days I think to myself, maybe I should have done it and maybe Florida would be a different place than where we find ourselves now and having a different discussion.
April Salter: And Bob, what is your favorite place to visit in Florida? This could be anything from a park bench to a beach, to a city. Obviously, you love Tampa, but beyond Tampa, what's a favorite place for you?
Bob Buckhorn: Certainly Tampa, but probably the Florida Keys that is so uniquely Florida and such a sensitive and precious environment. Being an Irish guy, I probably shouldn't spend too much time out in the sun, otherwise, I spend an equal amount of time at the dermatologist office. But it's such a beautiful place and such a uniquely Florida place that if you care about the outdoors and you like to fish and you like to be on the water in a natural environment that is so unique, I think that would be it. I don't get to spend as much time down there as I would like to.
April Salter: None of us do.
Bob Buckhorn: Yeah.
April Salter: I think we all deserve and wish for more time in the Florida Keys. I know, I do. And finally, Bob, do you have a favorite Florida sports team? Who do you root for?
Bob Buckhorn: Well, it's got to be my Buccaneers and my neighbor Tom Brady. I love the Bucks. I love watching the Bucks. It's been amazing to watch the impact that Brady has had on the Bucks.
April Salter: Yes. And the community.
Bob Buckhorn: And the community as well. I mean, obviously, he is surrounded by a very, very talented cast of athletes and players, but he brought something special to that. And so for me, even though we're struggling this year, every Sunday I'm in my big chair with an adult beverage in my hand that I don't have to pay 15 bucks for, watching the Buccaneers play. Now, I am a little frustrated that both the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and I love the Lightning as well, and Jeff Finnick is what every sports owner should be, but most are not. He was my partner throughout my eight years helping to build what you see outside of this window. And I love the guy, but both of those teams won the World Championships, the Lightning twice, the Bucks once the year after I left the mayor's office. And so I remind them every time I see them, I'm like, come on fellas, couldn't I at least have won boat parade.
April Salter: Well, I think you deserve to enjoy many boat parades. What you were able to accomplish along with many other folks in Tampa is truly remarkable. And I really appreciate your time, your vision, and I thank you so much for being with us today.
Bob Buckhorn: April, thanks for remembering, this has been, I appreciate it.
April Salter: Okay.
Chris Cate: Thanks for listening to the Fluent in Floridian podcast. This show is executive produced by April Salter with additional support provided by Heidi Otway and the team at SalterMitchell PR. If you need help telling your Florida story, SalterMitchell PR has you covered by offering issues management, crisis communications, social media, advocacy, and media relations assistance. You can learn more about Salter Mitchell PR at smpr.com. You can also learn more about the Fluent in Floridian podcast and listen to every episode of the show at fluidinfloridian.com or by searching for the show using their favorite podcast app. Have a great day.
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