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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Kevin Ambler will campaign at park Jim Norman helped build



In the Republican primary for a state Senate race with no Democrats, Jim Norman and Kevin Ambler are running down the clock until polls close Aug. 24. Tonight figures prominently on Ambler's calender: Candidates Night in Northdale, where the lawmaker began his political career in homeowner association politics.

He'll be at Northdale Park, 15550 Spring Pine Drive, from 6:30 to 9 tonight. Funny thing about that park, though: His opponent takes credit for building it.

A longtime Hillsborough County commissioner, Norman says in his campaign materials that he led the charge to turn down a proposed apartment complex on that corner of Northdale Boulevard, then worked with the county attorney to buy the site for public use.

"People pay taxes for their County Commission to protect their quality of life," Norman told the St. Petersburg Times after the apartment rezoning was defeated in 1995. "They are expecting us to defend their properties against something that would lower property values."

Today the center hosts popular after-school, summer camp and recreation programs for residents of all ages.

Tonight it is political ground zero.

Marlene Sokol, Times staff writer


[Last modified: Thursday, September 16, 2010 3:41pm]


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