Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Appeals court affirms Dingfelder's Hillsborough County Commission candidacy

TAMPA — Former Tampa City Council member John Dingfelder is officially in the running for Hillsborough County commissioner.

The 2nd District Court of Appeal on Friday affirmed a lower court's ruling that Dingfelder could appear on the ballot. At issue was Dingfelder missing a deadline for filing paperwork indicating he would resign from the council to run for the commission.

The appeals court did not issue an opinion, meaning there is nothing more for Dingfelder's opponents to pursue with a higher court.

"Not only is it great news for me and my family and my supporters, but it's clearly great news for voters because voters deserve to have a choice in November, and they're definitely going to have one," Dingfelder said. "I still acknowledge that I made a mistake, and I've paid for the mistake. But the court clearly acknowledged that we fixed the mistake in a timely fashion, pursuant to the law."

After learning he had missed the deadline, Dingfelder resigned from the council immediately.

He withdrew from the race June 29. The next day, local Democrats voted unanimously to put him back on the ballot.

GOP activist Brian Lothrop sued, saying the missed deadline meant Dingfelder, a Democrat, should not be able to run.

The courts disagreed.

In the general election, Dingfelder will face the winner of the District 1 Republican primary that pits former state Rep. Sandy Murman against Trey Rustmann, a project manager for a personnel firm. District 1 covers Town 'N Country, South Tampa and the eastern shore of south Hillsborough County.

Former Tampa City Council member Linda Saul-Sena, a Democratic candidate for the at-large District 5 County Commission seat, made the same mistake in filing her resign-to-run paperwork. She also resigned from the council, withdrew from the race and was placed back on the ballot by the local Democratic Party.

She, too, was sued by the Republican Party, and a lower court ruled in her favor.

GOP attorney Ryan Christopher Rodems filed an appeal Friday in Saul-Sena's case. Because appellate judges did not write an opinion to explain their decision in the Dingfelder case Friday, the ruling sets no precedent.

"Without a strong guidance from the 2nd DCA in the Dingfelder case, we are left to speculate why they did what they did," Rodems said.

If Saul-Sena withstands the challenge, she will face Commissioner Ken Hagan, a Republican, and former county planner Jim Hosler, no party affiliation, in the general election.

Times staff writer Colleen Jenkins contributed to this report.

Appeals court affirms Dingfelder's Hillsborough County Commission candidacy 08/20/10 [Last modified: Monday, August 23, 2010 1:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Anna Maria City Pier to close for year after 'extensive damage' from Hurricane Irma

    Travel

    ANNA MARIA — While Hurricane Irma's last-minute shift helped spare large swaths of Florida cities from catastrophic damage, the Anna Maria City Pier didn't fare so well.

    A damage assessment following Hurricane Irma suggests repairs for the Anna Maria City Pier can take at least 12 months. [LUIS SANTANA for Visit Florida]
  2. Photo of the Day for September 26, 2017 - Flying gecko on glass

    Human Interest

    Today's Photo of the Day comes from Wayne Rayburn of Tarpon Springs, FL. He calls it "Flying gecko on glass."

  3. Candidate in East Hillsborough House primary didn't vote in primaries

    Elections

    TAMPA — Personal voting histories show a sharp difference between Yvonne Fry and Lawrence McClure, the two candidates in the Republican special election primary Oct. 10 for East Hillsborough's District 58 state House seat.

    Yvonne Fry, Republican candidate for state House District 58, has voted in 34 elections at all levels since 1994. She likes to vote on election day, she said, and considers it a national holiday. [Courtesy of Yvonne Fry]
  4. Water and some food scarce as Puerto Rico emerges from storm

    World

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Supermarkets are gradually re-opening in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico but the situation is far from normal and many customers are going home disappointed.

    People wait in line outside a grocery store to buy food that wouldn't spoil and that they could prepare without electricity, in San Juan, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. Most stores and restaurants remained closed Monday. Nearly all of Puerto Rico was without power or water five days after Hurricane Maria. [Associated Press]
  5. Tampa-based vXchnge secures $200M loan to expand operations

    Corporate

    TAMPA — Tampa-based vXchnge, which operates data centers in 14 metro areas, has secured a loan for roughly $200 million for "major expansions and enhancements."

    Tampa-based vXchnge, a data center provider, secured a $200 million loan. Pictured is CEO Keith Olsen. | [Courtesy of vXchnge]