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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Two groups pass on Turner in handing out endorsements

Here's more bad news for incumbent Hillsborough County Property Appraiser Rob Turner as he campaigns for a fifth term in the wake of a porn-sending scandal. Two key groups, the Tampa Bay Builders Association and Greater Tampa Association of Realtors, have declined to endorse him.

This is notable because these are two mainstream groups whose endorsements candidates like to publicize and that help those candidates bring in dough from people in the development biz. They also generally endorse incumbents unless a returning candidate has done something to offend them.

Turner is facing state Sen. Ronda Storms in the Aug. 14 Republican primary. The winner faces Democrat former state Rep. Bob Henriquez and no-party candidates James DeMio and Rob Townsend.

The Builders Association endorsed Bob Henriquez, which may not be so surprising since he was once the group's government affairs coordinator. Meanwhile, GTAR took the unusual step of announcing a non-endorsement for any candidate in the race. The group doesn't necessarily offer endorsements in all other local races, so by formally announcing a non-endorsement in this one, it is making a statement.

Turner recently admitted to sending pornographic emails to his human resources director, a woman he once dated, then fired her as the Tampa Bay Times began asking questions about a sexual discrimination claim she filed against him. The complaint by Carolyn Filippone was dismissed in April. On Tuesday, Filippone filed a wrongful termination suit in federal court against Turner.


[Last modified: Thursday, July 5, 2012 7:35pm]


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