Terry Kemple wants to run for something, anything
Christian conservative activist Terry Kemple, who has twice run unsuccessfully for the Hillsborough County School Board, is seeking guidance on whether he should try again. Kemple is a founder of the Community Issues Council perhaps and is perhaps best known for his fights against strip clubs and a campaign to keep a Muslim advocacy group from providing guest speakers in classrooms. He ran for the school board in 2010 and 2012.
Recently he sent out a mass email to friends and supporters asking their thoughts on whether he should take another stab at running for office in 2014. And, if so, should he run again for the school board or one of two seats that will be opening on the Hillsborough County Commission?
"If 500 people encourage me to run then I'm going to do it!" he wrote. He asks those responding to check one of four choices: Stick with his advocacy, run for the school board or county commission, or "run for any office to which you feel led."
Kemple said he's received about 350 responses so far, about 90 percent of them encouraging him to run for the office he chooses.
Kemple said while both boards oversee different types of government, there are similarities between the two and he feels compelled to remain involved in issues at the local level. He's not just shopping for a soap box, he insists.
"I think the bottom line is this: Although they deal with different aspects of the issues that affect our community, in a great many ways they deal with the same root issues," he said. "It’s not as if there’s not a commonality between those two offices. I want to serve the community in a way that best meets the expectations of the people who are supporters and encouragers and who are involved with what I’ve been called to do."
He noted that one of the people he could face if he were to run for the at-large County Commission seat to be vacated by Mark Sharpe is April Griffin, a current school board member who also is eyeing the seat.