Les Miller to challenge Kevin White
TAMPA -- Incumbent Kevin White will have a fight on his hands in 2010 if he wants to retain his Hillsborough County Commission seat.
Former state Sen. Les Miller has filed paperwork to challenge White in the election, saying Hillsborough County needs "effective and honorable leadership they can trust." White is the District 3 commissioner representing mostly central and eastern Tampa. Both he and Miller are Democrats.
Miller served 14 years in the state legislature, including two years as Democratic leader in the Senate. He and White have clashed before. He ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. House seat won by Dem. Kathy Castor two years ago and is married to Tampa City Councilwoman Gwen Miller.
As a commissioner serving on the Hillsborough County Hospital Authority, White has questioned Tampa General Hospital's success in ensuring minority-owned firms receive a fair share of contracts from the hospital. Miller was in charge of that program for the hospital, but has since left for the University of South Florida.
White, who served on the Tampa City Council before getting elected to the Commission in 2006, paid a fine after he was accused of buying Italian suits with campaign money. He is facing a sexual discrimination lawsuit from a former aide, so he is considered somewhat vulnerable despite his incumbency.
"The citizens of District 3 and Hillsborough County deserve credible representation and a commissioner who has their interest in mind," Miller said in a news release.
-- Bill Varian, Times staff writer