Senate R's: We heart Jim Norman (not Ambler) for Tampa seat
Rep. Kevin Ambler, R-Tampa, has put in his time on the other side of the Rotunda, but he isn't getting a warm welcome in his bid to cross over into the Senate.
Incoming Senate President Mike Haridopolos and two other leading Senate Republicans just sent out a release endorsing longtime Hillsborough County Commissioner Jim Norman, who will face off against Ambler in the Republican primary. (The Miami Senate members, meanwhile, are staying out of the Flores-Rivera battle for District 38 in Miami.)
“For 15 years as a county commissioner, and even more as a community leader, Jim Norman has earned the trust and respect of his neighbors,” said Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island. “His record of civic achievement is built on solid conservative values, and with the support of the people of Pasco and Hillsborough counties, he will be a great senator.”
Joining the "we love Jim" chorus are Sens. J.D. Alexander, R-Lake Wales, and Don Gaetz, R-Niceville.
“The Senate needs a leader like Jim Norman who has proven he can unite people and find solutions to tough problems,” said Alexander. “Jim Norman’s common sense philosophy of promoting job creation, cutting unnecessary government overhead and building a stronger economy is exactly what Florida needs.”
“Not only have the people of Hillsborough County shown their confidence in Jim in five elections, but his fellow commissioners have chosen him as their chairman for five terms, more than anyone else in county charter history,” Gaetz added.
Sen. Victor Crist now has the District 12 seat sought by Ambler and Norman but leaves in 2010 because of term limits.