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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Hillsborough GOP pushing "big tent" promise



It was about a year ago that former Hillsborough GOP head David Storck sent out a pre-presidential election e-mail decried as racist. When Deborah Cox-Roush was elected to take over for Storck, she pledged to reach out more to blacks, Hispanics and young people. It seems she's following through on that. At the party's last executive committee meeting, Ken Lawson, an African-American attorney, was elected treasurer of the party. Cox-Roush said she believes it's the first time the local party has had a black officer. "I was thrilled about that," she said.

Lawson, 44, downplayed the race issue in a recent interview, and said he's just glad to be involved in local party politics. He started becoming a regular at the meetings about eight months ago. He's heading up the party's newly created candidate development committee. But Lawson has some national credentials, too. Lawson, a former Marine and federal prosecutor, was appointed by then-President George W. Bush as assistant secretary of enforcement at the Department of Treasury. He names Brent Scowcroft, Condi Rice and Colin Powell as Republican role models. "I really admire them for their sense of political realism," he said.

Janet Zink, Times Staff Writer

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


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