Service Honored Al Austin Yesterday

Three governors of Florida and two mayors of Tampa were among those at a memorial service for developer and Republican fundraiser Al Austin on Saturday.

“Al Austin is synonymous with success,” said Bob Martinez, another former governor and a former mayor of Tampa. Martinez was a Democrat until Austin helped persuade him to become a Republican, he said.

More than 100 of Austin’s friends and family members packed into the church along with political power players and others to pay respects to the man credited with, among other things, developing the Westshore Business District, expanding the University of Tampa and bringing the Republican National Convention to Tampa in 2012. Austin died May 22 at age 85.

For more on this story, visit Elizabeth Behrman (The Tampa Tribune).