Six to vie for District 58 seat
With just a month to go before voters head to the polls, six candidates have qualified to run in a special election to replace state Rep. Michael Scionti. Scionti, a Democrat, left the post to take a job with the Department of Defense. On the Democratic side: Janet Cruz, a businesswoman and Democratic fundraiser; Pat Kemp, a community activist and chair of the Hillsborough County Democratic Party; and Gil Sanchez, a lawyer. On the Republican side: lawyer Hunter Chamberlin and accountant Jackie Rojas Quinones, president of the Tampa Latin Chamber of Commerce.
Although the district typically goes to Democrats, Quinones said she hopes people look beyond her party affiliation. "I was raised in West Tampa, I've gone to school in West Tampa," she said. "That's where my heart still beats. Quinones said her accounting business largely serves other businesses in the district, which gives her insight into critical issues.
Jose Vazquez, a Democrat, is running as a write-in candidate. The primary election is on Jan. 26. The general election is Feb. 23.
Janet Zink, Times Staff Writer