|Mayor of Tampa|
April 1, 2011
Robert Francis Buckhorn Jr.|
July 29, 1958
Evanston, Illinois, U.S.
Pennsylvania State University,|
University Park (BA)
Robert Francis "Bob" Buckhorn Jr. (born July 29, 1958) is an American politician currently serving as the mayor of Tampa, Florida. He also served on Tampa's city council.
Born in Evanston, Illinois, the eldest of three sons, Buckhorn grew up in Falls Church, Virginia. He graduated in 1980 from Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Political Science, where he was on the college lacrosse team. He is married to Dr. Catherine Lynch Buckhorn and they have two daughters.
Previously, Buckhorn was the Director of Governmental Affairs for the Builders Association of Greater Tampa, and in 1987, became the Special Assistant to Mayor Sandra Freedman. In 1995, Buckhorn was elected Tampa City Council and was reelected to the Tampa City Council for a second term with 75% of the vote.
In June 2011, he formed the Economic Competitiveness Committee (ECC) to review the City of Tampa's permitting and regulatory processes and to look for ways to improve the system. The ECC made several recommendations, and the City of Tampa is in the process of instituting those, including the implementation of Accela to allow for permitting to be done online.
Through the Invision Tampa plan, Buckhorn outlined his commitment to creating a more connected, livable city by focusing on the city's underutilized riverfront, generating a strong mix-use pedestrian environment, building links between neighborhoods, and developing an urban pattern that supports transit. He has also worked to restore the street grid, foster new retail opportunities, and tried to work to attract new high density residential development such as the Residences on the Riverwalk and Skyhouse Tampa.
Buckhorn helped secure a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery Grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to complete the Tampa Riverwalk, which has been in the molding process by city officials for more than 40 years. The Riverwalk is part of plans to generate new possibilities for economic development along the Hillsborough River.
Buckhorn came under fire for aiming a twin .50 caliber machine gun at journalists and pretending to shoot them during a military parade and joking about it afterwards. Buckhorn later apologized to the military journalists for his joke.
Buckhorn approved the arrest of a group of volunteers "Tampa Food, Not Bombs" on January 7, 2017 for feeding the homeless.
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn's "joke" this week at a military conference about pointing twin 50 caliber machine guns at journalists and watching them "cry like little girls" rankled several reporters in the room.
And so the first place I point that gun is at the media," he told the crowd. "I've never seen grown men cry like little girls, for when that gun goes off those media folks just hit the deck like no one's business. It's great payback. I love it.
He said the food-sharing events have become 'increasingly larger and more intrusive' as the group added tables and attracted as many as '60, 70, 80 people.' 'There are places that are appropriate for those types of feedings and there are places that are not, and that is not one of them,' Buckhorn said, noting that downtown has become more of a residential neighborhood. 'So you have two incompatible uses. We're not trying to be heartless. We're just trying to manage living in an urban environment.'