Kemp qualifies for state House race by petition
Democrat Pat Kemp has qualified by petition to run in the special election for the District 58 state House seat. On the Republican side, at least one candidate -- Hunter Chamblin -- has filed to run in the election. Democrat Michael Scionti resigned from the post earlier this month to take a job with the Department of Defense.
Kemp, who is taking a leave of absence from her duties as chair of the Hillsborough County Democratic Party to run for the seat, collected the 174 signatures she needed in about 36 hours to meet yesterday's 5 p.m. deadline to turn them in to the Supervisor of Elections office.
Her supporters hit the ground running in her Seminole Heights neighborhood, as well as West Tampa and Town n Country. "It was the most exciting thing ever," she said."Everybody was racing the clock and we ran down there at 4:45 because we had to have them in at 5. It was really a team effort." That frees up Kemp from having to pay a $1,915 filing fee by the candidate qualifying deadline Dec. 29.
Kemp will face Janet Cruz Rifkin, Gil Sanchez and Jose Vazquez in the primary on Jan. 26. The general election is set for Feb. 23.
Janet Zink, Times Staff Writer