Bay News 9 welcomes two new political analysts
Chris Ingram and Betty Castor join Bay News 9
ST. PETERSBURG, FL— Two distinguished political figures are joining Bay News 9 as analysts. Christopher (Chris) Ingram and Betty Castor will provide their political insight and analysis for election night coverage and general political coverage of local, state, and national issues throughout the year.
Ingram is the former chief of staff to United States Rep. Max Burns (R-GA) and Washington, D.C. press secretary to the late U.S. Senator Paul Coverdell (R-GA). Ingram also served on the staff of U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA). Currently, he serves as president and founder of 411 Communications, a boutique project management, public relations, and media communications firm.
Ingram has worked for clients including the Republican National Committee, the National Rifle Association and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. He also served as Republican State Committeeman and Delegate to the 1996 Republican National Convention. In 1994, at the age of 23, Ingram was the youngest county party chairman to be elected in Georgia GOP history.
Ingram also served as a trainer or guest lecturer for the Republican National Committee, the Leadership Institute, the Close-up Foundation, the National League of Cities, the American Council of Young Political Leaders, the International Republican Institute, and the U.S. Department of State for whom he trained Branco Crvenkovski, President of Macedonia, and members of Parliament from Sudan and Kenya.
Castor is a former President of the University of South Florida. She served as Commissioner of Education and President and CEO of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
Castor was the first woman ever elected to the Hillsborough County Commission in 1972. She ran successfully for the Florida Senate in 1976, becoming the fourth female elected to that chamber where she served three terms.
In 1986, Castor became the Commissioner of Education and the first woman elected to the Florida Cabinet. During her tenure she emphasized accountability and helped to establish the first preschool early childhood programs.
Castor was appointed by the Board of Regents as President of the University of South Florida in 1993 and later joined the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards to serve as President. She returned to USF in 2006 to serve as Executive Director of the Patel Center for Global Solutions, an endowed center.
Castor has been honored with numerous awards including the 2008 Florida Education Association Lifetime Educator Award, the 2009 League of Women Voters Lifetime Achievement honor and the 2009 Audubon of Florida Women in Conservation Award. Castor is also a 1996 inductee of the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame.
Castor currently serves as a board member of the Northstar Bank of Tampa, the Hillsborough County Education Foundation, the Collins Center for Public Policy and the Tampa Bay Area Committee on Foreign Relations.
Castor and Ingram will contribute to regular political news reports, will be an integral part of Bay News 9’s primary and general election night coverage, and will occasionally appear on the channel’s political talk show, Political Connections.
Political Connections is an award-winning half-hour long program providing viewers the latest news in local and state politics as well as the top headlines from Washington D.C. Ruechel and Smith also go in-depth with the week’s top newsmakers to discuss current issues and ask questions. It airs Sundays at 11a.m. and repeats at 8p.m.
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