Les Miller, a Democrat, named head of GOP-dominated Hillsborough commission
TAMPA -- In a surprise move Tuesday, the Hillsborough County commission named Democrat Les Miller its new leader for 2016.
The commission, made up of five Republicans and two Democrats, voted to name Miller chairman, unseating outgoing chairwoman Commissioner Sandy Murman.
Murman was nominated for another year as chair but failed to get the four votes needed to secure a second term. Miller, who was nominated by Republican Commissioner Victor Crist, said he was stunned but honored to receive the accomodation.
"I promise I will not let you down," Miller said.
After it was clear Miller had gained the four votes needed -- from Crist, Democrat Kevin Beckner, Republican Ken Hagan, and himself -- Commissioner Stacy White and Murman voted for Miller to show support for the new chair. Higginbotham, however, voted against Miller.
"I know I may have pissed some people off," Crist said after the vote, "But it sends the right message that we are board that gets stuff done regardless of your politics."