Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Mark Sharpe suspends congressional campaign

TAMPA -— Hillsborough County Commissioner Mark Sharpe said Friday he is suspending his bid to unseat Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Castor.

Sharpe, a Republican, said new political district boundaries, which for District 11 are close to the old boundaries, make it "nearly impossible" for a Republican to have a chance of beating a Democrat. So he said he is tabling his campaign until the courts have a chance to hear challenges to the boundaries.

"There are lots of people who want to see a competitive race," Sharpe said Friday on Chris Ingram's Irreverent View political talk-radio program. "But when you look at the maps, it is nearly impossible to have a competitive race."

Legislators finalized political district boundaries for themselves and Congress last week. While they appear to maintain a Republican advantage by the way they bunch voters in many parts of the state, some districts, such as Castor's, continue to favor Democratic candidates. The seat takes in much of Tampa, but also part of south St. Petersburg, with high concentrations of Democratic voters.

By suspending his campaign rather than ending it, Sharpe said he can keep his campaign account open while focusing on issues important to his role as a county commissioner.

When he announced his candidacy in August, Sharpe acknowledged the challenge of overcoming Castor in a district that so heavily favors Democrats. But he said he would remain in the race whether the district stayed the same or was altered significantly through redistricting.

He has said in recent weeks that he has a hard time justifying asking people to contribute money to his campaign if he has next to no shot of winning. Federal records show he had raised $89,708 so far compared with $523,731 for Castor.

Two other Republicans, Evelio Otero and Mike Bennett, remain in the race.

Mark Sharpe suspends congressional campaign 02/10/12 [Last modified: Saturday, February 11, 2012 12:07am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. An attempt to project what Rays will look like in 2018

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — We know what the Rays look like this year: a team that had enough talent but too many flaws, in construction and performance, and in the next few days will be officially eliminated from a wild-card race it had a chance to win but let slip away.

    Adeiny Hechavarria, high-fiving Lucas Duda, seems likely to be brought back.
  2. Trump fallout: Bucs' DeSean Jackson to make 'statement' Sunday

    Bucs

    Bucs receiver DeSean Jackson said Saturday that he will make a "statement" before today's game against the Vikings in response to President Donald Trump's comment that owners should "fire" players who kneel in protest during the national anthem.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) makes a catch during the first half of an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017.
  3. Kriseman invites Steph Curry to St. Pete on Twitter

    Blogs

    Mayor Rick Kriseman is no stranger to tweaking President Donald Trump on social media.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman took to Twitter Saturday evening to wade into President Donald Trump's latest social media scuffle
  4. Death toll, humanitarian crisis grow in Puerto Rico

    World

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A humanitarian crisis grew Saturday in Puerto Rico as towns were left without fresh water, fuel, power or phone service following Hurricane Maria's devastating passage across the island.

    Crew members assess electrical lines in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria on Friday in Puerto Rico. Mobile communications systems are being flown in but “it’s going to take a while.”
  5. N. Korea says strike against U.S. mainland is 'inevitable'

    World

    North Korea's foreign minister warned Saturday that a strike against the U.S. mainland is "inevitable" because President Donald Trump mocked leader Kim Jong Un with the belittling nickname "little rocketman."