Clendenin elected Tampa’s 1st openly LGBTQ+ council member

Alan Clendenin. Photo via Clendenin’s Facebook.

TAMPA | Longtime activist Alan Clendenin won his race to represent District 1 on Tampa’s City Council April 25, becoming the body’s first openly LGBTQ+ representative in the process.

Clendenin advanced to Tampa’s municipal runoff in March, outpacing three candidates in the primary including incumbent Councilmember Joe Citro. He faced educator Sonja Brookins in the race.

According to the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections, 10.76% of the city’s registered voters participated in the runoff. As of April 26, unofficial results show a total of 16,236 votes cast for Clendenin, or 64.51%, besting the 8,931 or 35.49% cast for Brookins.

“I’ve been running nonstop with my foot on the pedal all the way to floor pretty much nonstop until today,” Clendenin told the Tampa Bay Times on election night. “I felt good about it the last couple of weeks, but I’ve been in politics long enough to know that anything can happen. The numbers came in today and it was a big sigh of relief and a moment of joy.”

Clendenin, 64, is a native of Sanford who’s lived in Tampa for nearly 40 years. He and his partner of 35 years are the fathers of a son and a daughter.

A retired air traffic control professional with extensive management experience, Clendenin has led or served on a wide array of local, regional and national groups. His political experience includes service on the Democratic National Executive Committee and the Florida Democratic Party.

Among local leaders and organizations, he was endorsed in the race by Equality Florida Action PAC, the political arm of the state’s largest LGBTQ+ civil rights group, and the LGBTQ Victory Fund. The latter works to increase the number of openly LGBTQ+ public officials elected nationwide.

Clendenin reflected on the historical significance of his victory with Watermark April 26.

“While we’re seeing increased attacks on the LGBTQ community from Tallahassee, Tampa has a long and rich history of leading on issues of equality,” he shared. “Representation matters and as the first openly LGBTQ city councilmember, I’m honored to be a part of Tampa’s future.”

If elected, Clendenin promised to focus on restoring Tampa’s roads and sidewalks and clean water. Affordable housing, economic opportunity, transportation, safety and restoring accountability and trust are among his other top priorities.

“Joe Citro has spent more time grandstanding during meetings, attending ribbon cuttings and taking selfies than focused on what the voters elected him to do,” Clendenin’s website reads. “Voters want solutions, not more drama. I will give voters a clear choice between someone who fosters dysfunction or someone that will put the drama aside to address the problems facing our city.”

Clendenin thanked voters for giving him the opportunity April 26 via social media:

In addition to Clendenin, Tampa elected three other city councilmembers. Guido Maniscalco won the City Council District 2 runoff, Lynn Hurtak won the City Council District 3 runoff and Charlie Miranda won a ninth term over Hoyt Prindle in District 6.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, who won her second term in March, was among those to congratulate the candidates. She shared via social media that she’s looking “forward to working with each of you to keep moving our city forward.”

For more information about Alan Clendenin, visit

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