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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]
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