Valerie Goddard tries but fails to qualify for commission race by petition
Political newcomer Valerie Goddard, who is challenging Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin White in his re-election bid, has failed to qualify for the ballot by petition. Goddard said she collected 1,800 signatures in an attempt to get the necessary 1,454 names. But when elections officials checked the signatures they determined Goddard was 22 names short of the mark. She will now have to pay $5,525 to get her name on the ballot. White and former state Sen. Les Miller, who is also running for the District 3 commission seat, both qualified by petition. Goddard said she's not discouraged.
"We fell 22 short. And those 22 were technicalities. We could have challenged them. We could have made it an issue. But instead we decided to devote our energies to moving forward," she said. "We're more motivated than ever. People are angry at the current representation and they want new leadership. For 1,800 people to have signed, that's a strong, strong statement."
According to the most recent campaign finance reports, Goddard has raised $12,400 in cash contributions and $5,500 in in-kind contributions. Her campaign expenses to date are nearly $9,000. Miller has collected $44,664 in cash contributions and $1,483 in in-kind donations. White has collected $98,500 in cash donations and $2,605 in in-kind contributions.
Janet Zink, Times Staff Writer