LISTEN: Tampa City Council District 4 Candidates Speak

TAMPA -- Ahead of Tampa's city elections March 7th, we're launching a series of reports and podcasts on the city council races. We start with District 4, where incumbent Bill Carlson is being challenged by Tampa businessman Blake Casper.

Casper made his fortune as a fast-food franchisee. He's challenging incumbent Bill Carlson over what he sees as a lack of support for police and a dysfunctional council.

Both support increasing Tampa's ranks of police officers. Carlson also has been calling on the city to discard policies on bicycle stops and arrangements with landlords described by critics as "biking while Black" and "renting while Black." Casper says the city shouldn't be spending more time investigating police than criminals, because it impedes the ability of police to do their job.

City council and Mayor Jane Castor have clashed over numerous issues, including the functions of the city attorney, lawsuit settlements, police review boards, and the PURE water recycling program, described by critics as "toilet-to-tap." Casper says the council is dysfunctional. Carlson says the dysfunction comes from the mayor's staffers, who demand 100 percent loyalty to Castor.

Election day is March 7th.

LISTEN to interviews with both candidates below:

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