TAMPA — Elections officials today will finalize the results of Tuesday's special primary election for the District 58 state House seat.
The election was a squeaker, with Republican Hunter Chamberlin winning by 12 votes and Democrat Janet Cruz topping Pat Kemp by 58 votes.
Cruz declared victory Tuesday night, but Kemp, who chairs the Hillsborough County Democratic Party, didn't concede until Wednesday, saying she wanted to wait to see how many provisional ballots had been cast. Provisional ballots are cast by people whose voting status is questioned for a variety of reasons. A three-member canvassing board will determine today if they are valid.
Kemp gave up her fight after learning that only 23 provisional votes would be considered. She said she now will get on with the task of planning the county party's annual fundraising dinner scheduled for Feb. 13, and help Cruz win the general election.
"I have always said that I will support whatever Democratic candidate wins," Kemp said. "I will do that."
The winner of the Feb. 23 general election will replace Democrat Michael Scionti, who resigned last month to take a job with the Department of Defense. The district includes Seminole Heights, West Tampa and Town 'N Country.
Janet Zink can be reached at email@example.com or (813) 226-3401.