Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Ten candidates vying for four spots on Hillsborough Circuit Court bench

TAMPA — The lines have been drawn in a series of contested judicial elections in Hillsborough County — and it appears that voters excited by the rare prospect of a challenge to a sitting judge will have to wait.

Circuit Judge Chet Tharpe, a longtime jurist known for presiding with pith and occasional severity over the courthouse's sex crimes division, had faced a challenge from defense attorney William Knight.

Knight had butted heads with Tharpe during the trial and sentencing of Ethel Anderson, an award-winning Riverview schoolteacher who in September was found guilty of performing oral sex and other lewd acts on a 12-year-old boy she tutored. Tharpe sentenced her to 38 years in prison.

Knight filed to run against Tharpe — an unusual move, as incumbent judges in Hillsborough County rarely face opponents when they come up for re-election.

But last month Knight withdrew from the race, leaving Tharpe unopposed. On Friday, he said he reconsidered his decision to run for personal reasons but declined to go into details.

His decision means that no incumbent judges will face a fight at the ballot box during the Aug. 26 election.

As the qualifying period for judicial candidates ended on Friday, however, there were four contested races for open Circuit Court seats:

Former chief assistant state attorney Karen Stanley is running against attorney Laura Ward.

Michael Scionti, a former prosecutor and state representative, is running against Michael J. Brannigan, an attorney who practices with a firm in Hernando County.

Former Tampa City Council member John Dingfelder is running against attorneys Carl Hinson and Barbara Twine Thomas.

Attorneys Robert Bauman, Constance Daniels and Melissa "Missy" Polo are running for the fourth open judge's seat.

Ten candidates vying for four spots on Hillsborough Circuit Court bench 05/02/14 [Last modified: Friday, May 2, 2014 11:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Review / photos: Sunset Music Festival brings Major Lazer, safety upgrades to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa

    Blogs

    Somewhere beyond the barricades and mountainous LED stages of the Sunset Music Festival, there had to be worry. There had to thousands of parents in parking lots and empty kitchens, anxiously distracting their minds, every now and then checking their phones.

    Major Lazer headlined the Sunset Music Festival on May 27, 2017 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
  2. 24-year-old man charged with murder in shooting at Andrea Cove Motel

    LARGO — Pinellas sheriff's officers arrested a 24-year-old transient man Saturday in connection with a homicide at the Andrea Cove Motel in unincorporated Largo.

  3. Photo gallery: Calvary Christian rolls to state title

    Blogs

    View a gallery of images from Calvary Christian's defeat of Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers for the Class 4A title.

    Calvary Christian players circle up on the field before the FHSAA class 4A baseball championship against Pensacola Catholic on Friday May 27, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Calvary scored 6 runs in the first inning, and had 7 hits.
  4. Two girls found safe after being reported missing in New Port Richey

    UPDATE: Both girls were found safe Saturday night, police said.

  5. IT failure blamed for British Airways cancellations (w/video)

    Airlines

    LONDON — British Airways canceled all flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports on Saturday as a global IT failure upended the travel plans of tens of thousands of people on a busy U.K. holiday weekend.

    Passengers wait at a British Airways check-in desk after the airport suffered an IT systems failure Saturday at London''s Gatwick Airport. [Associated Press]