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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Hillsborough commission chairman rakes in campaign money



He doesn't have a formidable opponent yet in his 2010 race for the Hillsborough County Commission seat being vacated by Jim Norman, but Ken Hagan, a Republican, has a formidable campaign war chest. So far he has collected more than $201,000 in monetary contributions. The total for all the other County Commission candidates combined is about $240,000. Hagan said he's glad to have the support, but he's not resting easy. "I'm not taking anything for granted," he said. "I always run like I'm 20 points behind."

Pat Kemp, chairman of the Hillsborough County Democratic Party, said Hagan should expect a viable Democrat to enter the race at some point. "We've been talking to some people," she said, but declined to offer names. Kemp said the party is keenly interested in ousting Hagan. She said she didn't like Hagan's stance on gutting the Environmental Protection Commission's wetlands division, and she calls him a ringleader behind a move to sell the county's 12,500-acre Cone Ranch to private interests. But the race against Hagan, she said, isn't for the faint of heart. "Running countywide in Hillsborough County ... is a really serious proposition," she said. "If you know what you're doing you shouldn't jump in half-heartedly."

Janet Zink, Times Staff Writer


[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 12:15pm]


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