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County Commission | District 6

Republican Margaret Iuculano, a businesswoman and founder of an advocacy organization for foster children, is challenging incumbent Democrat Kevin Beckner, a certified financial planner and former police officer, elected in 2008. Both cite job creation as a top priority. John Barry, Times staff writer

Margaret Iuculano, 45

Foster child advocate

Kevin Beckner, 41

County Commissioner

Iuculano, originally from San Diego and a former foster child, is founder of Angels for Foster Kids, a nonprofit group that advocates for foster children. She previously worked as CEO of a software consulting and training services company, TechSherpas. She has served with the Tampa Bay CEO Council, United Way Women's Leadership Board, the Tampa Bay Technology Forum and the Children's Advocacy Board. Experience Beckner has worked as a certified financial planner since 1999. A native of Michigan City, Ind., he has run a music entertainment business and worked for three years as a police officer in Bloomington, Ind. He has served as president of Leadership Tampa Bay, was a member of the Ybor Chamber of Commerce, and has supported various human rights organizations throughout the area.
High school equivalency diplomaEducationBachelor of Arts, Indiana University
"Jobs, jobs, jobs." She is promoting a "blueprint for jobs" that includes streamlining permitting and regulation, creating more certainty from regulatory processes and reducing business-related fees. "I'm not talking about eliminating, but streamlining, so businesses don't have to go through an 18-month permitting process." What is the county's biggest challenge and how would you address it? "Creating an environment to create jobs," he says. "The most pressing concern we face is the diversification of our local economy and opportunities to attract higher paying and quality jobs. The county has partnered with entities in the private sector, the Economic Development Corp. (EDC) in particular, to strategically identify target industries that we should work to attract."
"I'm very passionate about family services," she says. She lived in 15 foster homes as a child. She wants to work with the county's health and social services to improve coordination between providers and to ensure that entities that get county dollars also raise their money.Beyond that, what should county government's top priorities be?Economic development, he says, requires a county government that is fiscally sound. He says he and other commissioners have cut $1 billion out of the county budget. He has a plan that would cap spending.
Notes her experience as a businesswoman and nonprofit owner. "I understand how jobs are created. I also have a big heart for the rest of the citizens in the community who are underprivileged." What do you uniquely bring to the job? He says his expertise in financial planning and his commission experience have honed his skills in strategic planning. "We are in the process of working through a strategic plan that can make our economy one of the most diverse and recession-proof in Florida."
Says she'd like to see the County Commission focus more on issues instead of partisan politics. Says she has no major further political ambitions, so she'll focus on what's right rather than what will get her elected. What is one thing you would change about county government? Beckner says he is helping to change government priorities, focusing more attention on neighborhood needs, "an infrastructure for the American Dream," rather than "government infrastructure."
Home, rental home, promissory note, investmentsAssetsHome, car, investments
Student loan, first/second mortgagesLiabilitiesMortgage
Angels for Foster Kids, $33,000; marketing business, $6,396; rental income, $22,200IncomeHillsborough County Commission, $92,589, Ameriprise Financial, $35,939
Married; two childrenPersonalIn a committed relationship
Not availableWebsite

About the job: Commissioners make decisions about land use and approve a $3.1 billion budget that pays for law enforcement, fire protection, parks, libraries, social and other services. District 6 is an at-large seat representing all of Hillsborough County. Commissioners serve four-year terms and are paid $92,097 a year.

Hillsborough County Commission District 6: Kevin Beckner (D), Margaret Iuculano (R)

Republican Margaret Iuculano, a businesswoman and founder of an advocacy organization for foster children, is challenging incumbent Democrat Kevin Beckner, a certified financial planner and former police officer, elected in 2008. Both cite job creation as a top priority.

Hillsborough County Commission District 6: Kevin Beckner (D), Margaret Iuculano (R) 10/17/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 2:56pm]
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