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Kevin Ambler pushing for GOP appointment to ballot in contested state Senate race

TAMPA — Kevin Ambler is asking Republican Party leaders to name him as the replacement for Jim Norman in the race for the District 12 state Senate seat.

Norman beat Ambler in the August primary election, but a judge last week threw Norman off the ballot after Ambler sued, saying that Norman wasn't qualified to run because he failed to include an Arkansas vacation home on his state-required financial disclosure forms.

Ambler sent a letter to Hillsborough County Republican Party chairwoman Deborah Cox-Roush on Thursday, asking for the appointment.

And he sent an e-mail with the subject line "Ambler Alert" to local Republicans asking them to contact the six Hillsborough and Pasco GOP leaders who will choose a substitute for Norman.

"Now is the time to contact these individuals as a showing of support and solidarity for Kevin Ambler as the only candidate who has earned the right to be chosen as the Republican nominee for the Florida Senate District 12 seat," the e-mail reads.

Norman has appealed the ruling that removed him from the ballot. Ambler has also appealed the judge's decision not to name him as Norman's replacement.

Meanwhile, the Pasco and Hillsborough Republican parties have until Wednesday to choose someone to fill the spot. They are expected to make a decision before the end of this weekend.

In addition to Ambler and Norman, people under consideration include former state Rep. Deborah Tamargo; state Rep. Ed Homan; Christian radio host Bill Bunkley; former state Sen. John Grant; Pasco County egg farmer Wilton Simpson; and former state Rep. Rob Wallace.

Janet Zink can be reached at jzink@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3401.

Kevin Ambler pushing for GOP appointment to ballot in contested state Senate race 10/22/10 [Last modified: Friday, October 22, 2010 5:01pm]
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