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Florida State Senate, District 12 Republican candidates

Two Republicans have been constants in north Hillsborough politics. Jim Norman spent 18 years on the Hillsborough County Commission. Kevin Ambler, a state lawmaker since 2002, rose through the ranks of homeowner associations. The winner has no Democratic opposition.

About the job: The senator for District 12 represents north-central Hillsborough County to the west of U.S. 301 and most of Pasco County, excluding the coastal areas and Zephyrhills. The job pays $29,697 a year.

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Know Your Candidates 2010 Primary. More candidate profiles.

Kevin Ambler, 49

R Jim Norman, 56

A lawyer and veteran who moved to Tampa when assigned to MacDill Air Force Base, Ambler was president of the Northdale Taxing District before running for the state House in 2002. Once in the Legislature, he served on 30 committees and chaired the Committee on Public Safety & Domestic Security Policy. He tried, without success, to create an arbitration and mediation process for home­owner association disputes. He successfully involved high school students in the legislative process with a yearly bill drafting contest called "There Ought To Be a Law." Experience Originally from Jacksonville, Norman moved to Tampa in the late 1970s to work for the state headquarters of the Salvation Army. He is still employed by that organization, and has served on the Hillsborough County Commission since 1982. He is known for conservative views and a passion for youth and adult sports. He has helped create regional parks throughout the county, including the Ed Radice sports complex in Keystone; and helped broker a deal that kept the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in town.
Cornell University, Southwestern University School of Law Education University of North Florida
Use a cost-benefit approach that combines reductions in the size, composition and structure of state agencies, with reductions in government spending and zero-based budgeting. Sources for revenue enhancements must be identified and legislation adopted to authorize better enforcement and collection mechanisms. Florida faces a budget shortfall of $6 billion as federal stimulus money runs out and the economy recovers. How do we balance the budget? The budget problems will continue until we find a way to reel in out-of-control Medicaid spending. Medicaid reform is the key to beginning to solve our budget problems.
I favor a merit-based pay system similar to the one utilized in charter schools. I think the current tenure system rewards mediocrity and perpetuates complacency. As far as adopting a systemic change to the current pay system, I would look to the merit pay plan being developed by Hillsborough County under the Gates Foundation grant. How do we change the way Florida public school teachers are evaluated and compensated? While the efforts last year in the Legislature to institute a merit pay system were not perfect, I do believe that we need to have a system that does factor performance into pay. With the increased publicity of the issue, I also believe that the major parties involved in the debate can come to a consensus.
I am not convinced that (offshore drilling) could be done safely, meaning with the risk of an uncontrolled spill being eliminated. Where do you stand on energy and offshore drilling? We need to encourage the development and use of renewable energy sources through incentives.
Houses in Cheval (Lutz) and California, condo in Tallahassee Assets House in Carrollwood, retirement accounts
Mortgage Liabilities Taxes and insurance on house
Law practice, investments, state House salary Income Salaries from Salvation Army and Hillsborough County Commission
Married to Mindy Ambler, two children in or finishing college Personal Married to Mearline Norman Website E-mail

Florida State Senate, District 12 Republican candidates 08/04/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 4, 2010 7:43pm]
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