Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tom Lee wins state Senate race in east Hillsborough

BRANDON — Eastern Hillsborough County voters Tuesday sent former Florida Senate president Tom Lee back to the Legislature.

Lee, a 50-year-old Republican, held off Democratic challenger Elizabeth Belcher, taking around 55 percent of votes cast in the Senate District 24 race.

"We're very pleased with the outcome," said Lee, adding that he and fellow county Republicans were nonetheless having a "considerable amount of consternation," however, about the results of other races.

A Brandon home builder, Lee served as a state senator from 1996 to 2006 and was best remembered for insisting that lobbyists be forced to disclose how much money they make and for banning lobbyists from buying meals and gifts for legislators. He was Senate president during his last two years.

Belcher, 62, was making her first run for political office. She is a retired criminal investigator for the Internal Revenue Service. A community activist, Belcher had put ethics reform and accountability at the top of her to-do list.

Early voting results showed Lee ahead only by a small margin. But in the end, Belcher could not match Lee, who had name recognition and high-profile endorsements. He raised nearly $531,000 in the race, compared with Belcher's $13,725.

Back in August, Lee faced a bruising primary race against fellow Republican Rachel Burgin, a state representative who appealed to social conservatives. That race took a bitter turn when Tallahassee lobbyists and political committees joined in the fray.

Lee defeated Burgin by taking roughly 60 percent of the vote.

Tom Lee wins state Senate race in east Hillsborough 11/06/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 12:01am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Buckhorn's joke about pointing machine guns at media draws fire

    Military

    TAMPA — At a time when journalists are under fire both literally and figuratively, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn's "joke" last week at a military conference about pointing twin 50-caliber machine guns at journalists and watching them "cry like little girls" rankled several war correspondents in the room.

    Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn fires a .50 caliber machine gun from a rigid hull inflatable boat during a  Special Operations Capabilities Demonstration at the Tampa Convention Center last year.JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times
  2. For starters: Rays vs. Angels and Trout, with Odorizzi on mound

    Blogs

    After losing Sunday's game but winning a third straight series, the Rays open a four-game series tonight against the Angels and Mike Trout.

    RHP Jake Odorizzi will be on the mound for the Rays, RHP J.C. Ramirez for the Angels.

    Evan Longoria is getting a DH day, so the Rays have rookie Daniel …

    Jake Odorizzi will be on the mound for the Rays.
  3. Lightning's Swedes live their dream in Worlds

    Blogs

    You could see it in his face.

    Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman screamed as he hoisted the World Championship trophy Sunday afternoon in Cologne, Germany, and it looked like an exhale that was years in the making. Stralman kissed the forehead of Swedish teammate Joel Lundqvist, the joy unmistakable.

    Victor Hedman of Sweden celebrate with his teammates after scoring the opening goal in the gold-medal game against Canada.
  4. Citigroup agrees to pay nearly $100 million fine for Mexican subsidiary

    Banking

    NEW YORK — Citigroup has agreed to pay nearly $100 million to federal authorities to settle claims that a lack of internal controls and negligence in the bank's Mexican subsidiary may have allowed customers to commit money laundering.

    Citigroup has agreed to pay nearly $100 million to federal authorities to settle claims that a lack of internal controls and negligence in the bank's Mexican subsidiary may have allowed customers to commit money laundering. 
[Associated Press file photo]

  5. Bob Buckhorn apologizes amid online uproar over his joke about pointing machine gun at journalists

    Blogs

    The office of Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn issued a statement Monday afternoon saying Buckhorn is apologizing to combat journalists for a joke he made last week about pointing …

    Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn fires a .50 caliber machine gun from a rigid hull inflatable boat during a Special Operations Capabilities Demonstration at the Tampa Convention Center last year.