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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Tampa lawyer Bob Buesing files for Senate run

Tampa lawyer Bob Buesing, a Democrat, filed Monday to run for the Florida Senate from a northern and western Hillsborough County seat.

In doing so, he’ll be running against Dana Young, the Republican leader of the Florida House, who announced a Senate bid after lawmakers re-drew the district lines, creating that seat.

Buesing, 62, who sits on the boards of child advocacy groups like Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County and the YMCA, has never before run for public office. But, he said, from experience lobbying for those groups in Tallahassee, he believes state lawmakers are focusing on the wrong things.

“I’ve reached the conclusion that we have the wrong people in the seats,” Buesing said. “They are in sort of an alternative reality that’s not the reality of most of the people in Hillsborough County.”

Specifically, he said the state should emphasize early childhood education and health care as a way to keep prison populations and Medicaid payments low in future decades.

“We’re doing it the expensive way,” he said. “We’re allowing these problems to fester and grow and down the road we’ve got an expensive mess on our hands.”

The district Buesing and Young are running in — District 18 — is nearly evenly split between Republicans and Democrats. It could be among the most expensive in the state this election cycle.

With all 40 Senate seats up for in this election and new district maps, Republicans’ strong majority in the chamber could be at stake.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 3, 2016 9:43am]


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