James Grant officially launches state House campaign
Twenty-seven-year-old James Grant, the son of former Florida Sen. John Grant, welcomed well over 100 people to his District 47 state House campaign-kickoff Thursday night at the Emerald Greens country club in Carrollwood. Host committee members included Tampa attorneys David Mechanik and Vince Nuccio, and, of course, his parents. Daddy Grant said he was proud of his son and eager to see some young blood active in the GOP. Indeed, the event drew some fellow young Republicans, including Tampa City Council candidates Tony DeSisto and Scott Strepina. Also on hand: Hillsborough County Commissioner Mark Sharpe. Sharpe said he's not officially endorsing anyone in the District 47 race, but said: "I deeply respect his family and him." And Sharpe taught Grant American History in middle school. Sharpe said he told his former student: "You go out there and you kick the system in the ass."
During his speech, Grant, an attorney, said he aspired to be a statesman, not a politician, and pledged to uphold core conservative values of lower taxes, less government and more personal freedom. "The people trying to put power in the hands of government are doing it faster than ever before," he said. Some government leaders, he said, believe they can "run your business, raise your family and spend your money better than you can." Government, he said, needs to stop punishing successful people. "It's the successful that create jobs," he said.
In other District 47 Republican primary news: Former Hillsborough County commissioner Brian Blair picked up an endorsement from the Florida State Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police. And retired Verizon executive and lobbyist Irene Guy has a fundraiser scheduled for Feb. 24 at 5:30 p.m. at O'Brien's Irish Pub in Carrollwood. Hosts include Julia Rettig and Republican man-about-town Andy Graham.
Janet Zink, Times Staff Writer