Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

KYC Election Guide

Hillsborough County property appraiser

Ronda Storms and Rob Turner

Republican incumbent Rob Turner lived a charmed political life until he admitted in May to sending porn to his human resources director, whom he previously dated and recently fired. That drew a challenge from state Sen. Ronda Storms, who made her name by fighting such things as public nudity and strip clubs. The winner faces Democratic former state Rep. Bob Henriquez and two candidates running without party affiliation in November. — Bill Varian, Times staff writer

Ronda Storms, 46

State senator

Rob Turner, 60

Property appraiser

Republican Party Republican
Storms has served six years in the state Senate and abandoned a re-election bid after news of Turner's pornographic correspondence broke. She previously served eight years as a Hillsborough County commissioner, attracting attention for her many campaigns against public prurience and other issues. She led the charge to block county recognition of gay pride events and displays, supported a series of tax rate cuts and is known as a child-welfare advocate. She briefly had a law practice and once taught English at Bloomingdale High School in Brandon. Experience Turner is seeking his fifth term after 16 years in office. He previously was a banker for 23 years, leaving as vice president of real estate for NationsBank. President-elect of the International Association of Assessing Officers. Has until recently attracted little negative attention until the porn and dating admission. Says the porn was sent during nonwork hours using personal equipment and was a "personal mistake," as was the dating. He is facing a wrongful termination suit from his former girlfriend, a woman he says he fired for filing a false workplace complaint.
Bachelor's degree, English education, University of South Florida. Law degree (with honors), Stetson University College of Law. Education Bachelor's degree, business administration, University of Central Florida. Graduate, School of Bank Management, University of Florida.
"Integrity," she said. "That's what matters in this race." What are your most important qualifications for this office? 16 years running the office. "My education, training, skills, abilities, expertise and experience have positively improved this office in our appraisal accuracy, fiscal frugality and general management. None of the other candidates have any qualifications for this office."
"I am faithful to my constituents. I believe in representing everyone. But I don't believe in using the power of government to demonstrate my power. I believe in being a conduit for making people's life easier when they need government to help them and not harm them." Contrast yourself and your opponent. "My prior qualifications in appraisal and management, which I have continued to improve, shows directly in the outstanding demonstrated performance of this office. My opponent is not qualified in the least to lead this office, has a mediocre history of performance and is just out looking for a job."
"Re-establishing professional, performance-based standards for the office." She says she regularly hears from residents about examples of unequal treatment and unwillingness by the office to hear concerns. She said the office is top-heavy and needs an elected official who will lead by example and behave properly. What are your biggest priorities for the property appraiser's office? Fair and equitable assessments and proper management of exemptions, as well as fiscal focus. Notes his budget is $1 million less than when he took office and staffing is down from 178 people to 130 with no forced layoffs. Educating the public about appraisal issues, averaging 85 community presentations annually.
"I think they should put it in context. This is a professional environment. That sort of behavior is poisonous to a professional environment." It removes his moral authority to stop bad behavior by others and kills morale for employees who wonder how they are evaluated, Storms said. How should voters consider the incumbent's porn and dating admissions? "I ask the voters to consider my performance as Hillsborough County property appraiser over the past 16 years. In that time, I have never failed to execute the laws, all of the laws, governing my office, and the office has performed its functions honestly, efficiently and fairly."
Home, land, savings, prepaid college tuition Assets Four rental properties, retirement accounts, savings, bonds
Mortgage, home equity loan, student loans, bank loan Liabilities Mortgages, credit union loan
Senate salary, $29,697 Income Property appraiser salary, $153,052; rental income, $43,288; consulting business, less than $1,000
Married; two children Personal Married; four grown children Website Email

Hillsborough County property appraiser

Hillsborough County property appraiser 07/28/12 [Last modified: Monday, October 15, 2012 3:03pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Steve Bannon says rivals 'wetting themselves,' calls supremacists 'clowns,' seems to contradict Trump on North Korea


    Stephen K. Bannon, the White House chief strategist, seemed to take issue with President Donald Trump on North Korea, attacked white supremacists as "clowns" and "losers" and described his efforts against administration rivals in an unusual interview Wednesday with the American Prospect, a progressive magazine.

    White House chief strategist Steve Bannon steps off Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., in April. In an unusual interview Wednesday with The American Prospect, a progressive magazine, Bannon attacked white supremacists as "clowns" and "losers" and described his efforts against administration rivals saying "They're wetting themselves." [Associated Press]
  2. Why are so few Tampa Bay houses for sale? They're being rented

    Real Estate

    Oreste Mesa Jr. owns a modest 40-year-old house in West Tampa just off MacDill Avenue. It's an area where many homeowners are hearing the siren song of builders and cashing out while the market is strong.

    Attorney David Eaton poses in front of his rental home at 899 72nd Ave. North. in St. Petersburg. He's among a growing number of property owners who see more value in renting out unused homes than selling them. 
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  3. In a word, Hernando school leaders say, first day was 'smooth'


    Over and over on Monday, school district leaders used the same word to describe the unfolding of the first day of school in Hernando County.


    Third-graders Teagan Ferguson, left, and Brianna DeLaine deliver attendance figures to the office at J.D. Floyd Elementary School on Monday. Superintendent Lori Romano and other district administrators toured a handful of schools and classrooms throughout the day,
  4. Looking Back: Diana, America's Favorite Princess


    The Washington Post, in her obituary, called her "the most photographed woman in the world." She was loved in England for saying, after her divorce from Prince Charles, "I'd like to be a queen of people's hearts." Americans loved her for her work with charitable causes supporting victims of AIDS and landmines. Aug. 31 …

    Prince Charles and Princess Diana on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on their wedding day.

(AP Photo)
  5. Rays morning after: 5 mistakes that led to loss to Blue Jays


    We've already documented elsewhere what the Rays didn't do, how they failed to take advantage of a prime opportunity to win Wednesday's game, getting just one run after loading the bases in the seventh with one out and three of …

    Jake Faria make too many mistakes, the failure to execute costing him repeatedly.