Hillsborough power broker dies
TAMPA -- Ralph Hughes, one of the Tampa Bay area's most influential power brokers, has died. He was 77.For years, his contributions to conservative causes, from Jeb Bush to Hillsborough County commissioners, made him a force in local and state politics. He was a major contributor to commissioners Brian Blair and Jim Norman and state Sen. Ronda Storms.
"He was the father of conservatism in Hillsborough County," former Hillsborough County commissioner Joe Chillura said this morning. "He had more to do with the complexion of the commission becoming conservative than any other individual."