Pat Kemp, a lawyer, onetime state House candidate and former Hillsborough County Democratic Party leader, has filed to run for an open County Commission seat.
Kemp announced her candidacy Monday for the at-large District 7 seat that Republican Mark Sharpe will leave due to term limits in November. She said she plans to focus on smart economic development for the county, as opposed to "dumb growth."
"We have too much traffic, and we're attracting too few good jobs in Hillsborough County," Kemp said.
She is the only current Democrat candidate in the race. The other declared candidates are Hillsborough County commissioner Al Higginbotham, leaving his current seat due to term limits; Robin Lester, a financial consultant; and beauty school owner Don Kruse, each Republicans. Earlier Democrat challengers for the seat — Hillsborough School Board member April Griffin, Tampa City Council member Mary Mulhern and Cristina Cain — have all withdrawn.
Kemp ran for the District 58 state House seat in 2010, losing to Democrat Janet Cruz. She has previously served as chairwoman of the Hillsborough County Democratic Party, is a lawyer in private practice and worked as an aide to then-county commissioner Kathy Castor, a Democrat now serving in Congress.