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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

UPDATED New GOP candidate in Florida House 52: Jeff Brandes

UPDATED: From his release: "I am on a mission…to get Florida moving again,” Brandes said. “Having served in the military and worked in our family business I believe I have the ability to make that happen."

His background in politics isn't much, at least on the surface. He gave $500 to Charlie Crist's 2006 campaign for governor but doesn't show other donations, campaign finance databases show. But he is tied into various civic groups, including First Night St. Petersburg and the Leadership St. Pete group in 2005.

Jeff Brandes, a businessman associated with Cox Lumber's previous ownership family, has filed to run against Rep. Bill Heller, D-St. Petersburg, after Connie Deneault backed out of the race Tuesday. Brandes' paperwork is here.

He wouldn't say much Wednesday afternoon before his news release comes out, but here's a little description on the Haines City Economic Development Council:

"Jeffrey Brandes is responsible for overseeing the real estate investments of the Linton N. Tibbetts family.  The Tibbetts family has been involved in the real estate and building supply business in Florida and the Cayman Islands for over 60 years; first with Cox Lumber, which was sold in 2006 to Home Depot Supply, and currently with Tibbetts Lumber.  Prior to his current position, Jeff was a U.S. Army officer and served in Iraq in 2004. Mr. Brandes is a Certified Property Manager and is involved with various local boards including the Christian Legacy Foundation, the Institute of Real Estate Management West Coast Chapter, and the Haines City Economic Development Council.  A lifelong native of St. Petersburg and with strong roots in the Cayman Islands, Mr. Brandes is a graduate of Leadership St. Pete and the Chair of Leadership Cayman. 

David DeCamp, Times staff writer

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[Last modified: Thursday, September 16, 2010 3:40pm]

    

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