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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Dana Young plans to run for Senate in South Tampa district



House Majority Leader Dana Young plans to run for the Senate this fall, the Tampa Republican said Tuesday.

She is eyeing a new South Tampa seat that includes Westchase and Town 'N Country created last week by Circuit Judge George Reynolds as part of a new Senate map drawn by the plaintiffs in a contentious redistricting trial.

“The only box left to check is for the Supreme Court to sign off,” Young said. “But assuming they do so, then I will run for the seat.”

After Reynolds’ ruling last Thursday, Young told the Times/Herald “this is something that I am very seriously looking at.”

Her current House district largely overlaps with that Senate district — District 18 — and she points to fundraising numbers for 2015 that leave her with $615,797 on hand in her campaign account and a political committee, Friends of Dana Young.

She raised $111,875 for her campaign and $60,000 for the committee last month.

Young was first elected to the House in 2010, and she was one of the first women to be named majority leader in the chamber. She would be up against term limits in 2018.

She won’t formally declare her candidacy until after the state Supreme Court approves the new maps. If they don’t, “it would throw everything on its head,” Young said.

While Young is a big name in Tallahassee Republican politics, the South Tampa district could be contentious. In 2012, it went 50.6 percent to 49.4 percent for Barack Obama. It’s also home to another prominent women in the Florida House, Democrat Janet Cruz, who will be the minority leader if she returns to the chamber after the 2016 election.

[Last modified: Tuesday, January 5, 2016 12:42pm]


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