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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Todd Jones to challenge Hillsborough Property Appraiser Bob Henriquez



Hillsborough County Property Appraiser Bob Henriquez will get a Republican challenger.

Look for Todd Jones, a career real estate appraiser, to announce soon.

Jones said that in his campaign, he'll emphasize his strong credentials as a real estate appraiser. Much of his career has been in representing taxpayers challenging property tax assessments.

He's a past president of the Florida Association of Property Tax Professionals and holds several certifications in the field, including the prestigious Counselors of Real Estate.

"I'm looking at this as an opportunity to give back," he said. "I know how to fix the problems in the system.

"I'll be the only appraiser in the race. This is a job I know inside out. It will be a choice between a career politician and an expert appraiser."

Jones hasn't run for office before, and beating Henriquez, a former state House member and previously a well-known football coach at Tampa Catholic High School, will be tough. GOP insiders say Jones will be well-funded, and he's hired prominent campaign consultant Matt Blair.

Jones, 58, has a master's degree in business from the University of South Florida and taught real estate appraisal at the University of Florida.

And who knows whether it will help against Henriquez, but he's also an eighth-degree black belt in tae kwon do and a former national karate champion in the super lightweight category — a category he acknowledges he would no longer fit into.

[Last modified: Thursday, October 1, 2015 8:12am]


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