For the past year, Republican Aakash Patel has campaigned for the Hillsborough County Commission District 1 seat being vacated by Sandra Murman. Last year, Murman filed to run for the commission in District 7, a countywide seat.
But on Sunday, Patel announced he’d instead run for the District 7 seat in 2018.
His announcement followed Murman’s surprise move Friday to let a deadline pass without filing papers with the Supervisor of Elections office to resign from her District 1 commission seat. Instead, Murman announced she would remain in office until term-limited out in 2020.
That left Patel, who’s raised about $450,000 since filing to run for the District 1 race last year, temporarily without a 2018 race.
"I have walked neighborhoods throughout District 1, I have spoken to nearly every Republican Club in Hillsborough County, and I have been honored by the outpouring of support from many voters outside of District 1," Patel said in a statement.
District 1 represents about 400,000 people living in east Hillsborough from Ruskin to Keystone.
Countywide seats represent Hillsborough’s 1.4 million residents.
"I want to continue this momentum as I move forward through the countywide Election on August 28th," Patel continued.
The District 7 seat is currently held by Commissioner Al Higginbotham, who is retiring at the end of his term.
Murman had been the leading fundraiser in the District 7 race with over $180,000.
Patel’s District 7 opponents are Democrats Charles Davis III, Kimberly Overman, Corey Reynolds and Sky U. White and Republican Cherie Denham.
The leading fundraiser of that group is Overman with over $30,000, according to the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections’ website.
The other candidates vying for District 1 — Republican Todd Marks, who’s raised more than $80,000, and Democrat Jen McDonald, who has raised less than $5,000 — have not yet announced their plans.
Contact Paul Guzzo at [email protected] Follow @PGuzzoTimes.