The last of Hillsborough county's precincts reported at 10:50 p.m.
Bob Henriquez, who served for eight years in the Florida House of Representatives and is head football coach at Tampa Catholic High School, defeated Senator Ronda Storms 52 to 43 percent. "I want to say how much I respect Sen. Storms' service," Henriquez said. "I'm sure she's nowhere near being out in this arena." Storms congratulated Henriquez, saying he had "won decisively." Henriquez will replace Rob Turner, who lost in the primary to Storms after a porn scandal. Henriquez has said one of the first things he wants to do is conduct an administrative audit to identify things the office could do more efficiently.
SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS
Craig Latimer, who retired from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office as a major before he became chief of staff at the Supervisor of Elections Office, defeated Rep. Rich Glorioso, 56 to 44 percent. He will replace retiring Earl Lennard, the former Hillsborough schools superintendent, who took over as supervisor of elections in 2009 and stabilized the office after years of controversy. "I'm very excited. It's been great," Latimer said. "I think it sends a message from the voters they like direction of the office. Four years ago, we started to restore confidence in that office. And the voters responded."
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS DISTRICT 4
Republican Al Higginbotham will continue to serve as Hillsborough County commissioner after defeating Democrat Mark Nash 58 to 37 percent. "I'm very honored and humbled," Higginbotham said. "I think people responded to the positive message that we focused on. From the very beginning, we talked about working together and focused on the things the county's done right and had successes with." Higginbotham has said he thinks the most pressing problem facing the county is government spending and taxation, and that the county needs to diversify its economy by expanding and gaining an international presence.
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS DISTRICT 6
Democrat Kevin Beckner will continue to serve as Hillsborough County commissioner, after beating Republican Margaret Iuculano 58 to 42 percent. "Among Democrats and Republicans in Hillsborough, a lot of our values lined up together, including fiscal responsibility and other issues important to quality of life," Beckner said of Iuculano. "I give my opponent an 'A' for a spirited, grass-roots effort, but for her attacks on my integrity, I give her an F."
SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER DISTRICT 7
Carol W. Kurdell remains the Hillsborough School Board's longest-serving member, after beating Terry Kemple 57 to 43 percent. "You always campaign like you're losing and that's how you win," Kurdell said. Kemple grabbed headlines this year with his efforts to ban school visits by an Islamic advocacy group. In response to Kemple's defeat, Muslim leader Hassan Shibley's first response was, simply, "yay."
CHARTER AMENDMENT 1
Voters decided to amend the Hillsborough County charter to delete the words "physical handicap" and replace them with "disability," with a 52 percent vote. This change is in keeping with state and federal regulations.
CHARTER AMENDMENT 2
Voters decided to amend the Hillsborough County charter to require the county's budget director to prepare a financial impact statement that would accompany future ballot questions. The amendment passed with 53 percent of the vote. Tea party activists sought the financial question in 2010.