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Ernest Hooper predicts winners in District 2 and 3 Hillsborough County Commission races

Times columnist Ernest Hooper offers his analysis of key races for the Aug. 24 primary.

These are not endorsements.

County Commission, District 2

Victor Crist looks to move from the state Senate to the County Commission and represent a district that includes Seffner and Mango, but largely consists of New Tampa, Carrollwood, Odessa and Lutz. Crist will bank on name recognition, long-time support and a resume that includes impressive revitalization efforts in the University Area.

Linda Pearson stands in his way and brings experience as an active Hillsborough GOP executive committee member and campaign volunteer. She has not run for office before, but she started her campaign almost a year ago. She can't be taken lightly, and Crist won't — which means he comes out on top.

COUNTY COMMISSION, DISTRICT 3

Incumbent Kevin White will fight to hold on to this seat, which includes Clair-Mel, Progress Village and Palm River. It's likely to be a fierce fight given that he has to overcome the specter of a federal civil jury's finding of sexual discrimination against him in a lawsuit.

Former state representative and state Sen. Les Miller hasn't openly used the verdict against White, but it can't help but be a prevalent issue. Word on the grapevine is White is armed and ready to attack Miller's record if the campaign turns ugly.

Children's Board chairwoman Valerie Goddard is articulate and thoughtful but has yet to make a much-needed splash to boost her name recognition.

Despite his faults, White is a favorite. Miller wins only if White suffers a huge backlash and Miller convinces people he will accomplish more as a commissioner than he did as a legislator.

Ernest Hooper predicts winners in District 2 and 3 Hillsborough County Commission races 07/15/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 12:05pm]
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