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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rep. Traviesa, Kemple react to House District 56 replacement



TAMPA -- As reported Friday on the Buzz and in Saturday's St. Petersburg Times, Hillsborough County Republicans tapped a 26-year-old Dover woman who just completed a summer internship at the White House to replace Trey Traviesa in the House District 56 race.

Rachel Burgin served as Traviesa's legislative aide before he made the sudden decision this week to not seek re-election.

Reached in Dallas on Friday, Traviesa dismissed concerns about Burgin’s youth and inexperience. “She knows the district well because she has been responsible for all of the district and legislative service for two years,” said Traviesa, who was notified of the committee’s decision through a text message from Burgin. “She’s very current. She’s very knowledgeable of the current players in the process. She is a lifelong east Hillsborough resident and a grassroots activist.”

Valrico activist Terry Kemple, one of the nine candidates who was vying for Traviesa’s spot, said he fully supports her.

“I think they made an excellent choice and I will back Rachel wholeheartedly," said Kemple, president of the conservative Community Issues Council. “It’s time for solid, conservative, smart young people to get in positions of responsibility in our government on local, state and national levels.”

-- Rodney Thrash, Times Staff Writer

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:33am]


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