A City Council with no African-Americans? Tampa grapples with demographic change

TAMPA — Frank Reddick is worried.

Tampa’s lone black City Council member is leaving office next year because of term limits. His district, which stretches across West Tampa, Downtown, Channelside, Ybor City and east Tampa, has long been an African-American political stronghold.

But as downtown and Channelside has added white residents, the demography of the district has shifted. In recent years, the percentage of black registered voters fell from 61 percent to under 54 percent, in part because black residents of North Boulevard homes and Tampa Presbyterian Village moved out. And with the massive West River development looming, what happens if a well-connected white candidate with deep pockets steps into the ring?

A City Council without black representation remains a real…

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