Thursday, June 21, 2018
Politics

Hillsborough Commissioner Ken Hagan re-elected without opposition

TAMPA — Incumbent Republican County Commissioner Ken Hagan and his $300,000 campaign fund cruised to victory Friday as he drew no opposition for countywide District 5.

Noon Friday was the deadline for county candidates to qualify for this year's elections.

For Hagan, the day meant another four-year term. For three other sitting commissioners, it meant a final list of opponents.

Primary elections are Aug. 26; the general election is Nov. 4.

Incumbent Commissioners Kevin Beckner, Les Miller and Sandra Murman do not face election this year. Mark Sharpe is prevented from running in District 7 because of term limits.

Incumbent Republican Victor Crist will face no primary opposition in northern Hillsborough's District 2, but will go against Democrat Elizabeth Belcher in the general election.

Commissioner Al Higginbotham, running for the first time in countywide District 7 after being prevented by term limits from running again for District 4, will face fellow Republicans Don Kruse, Robin Lester and Timothy Ernst Schock in the primary.

The winner of that primary will face the winner of the Democratic primary between Mark Nash and Pat Kemp.

The race to replace Higginbotham in eastern Hillsborough's District 4 will likely go to a Republican. Three GOP members — Rick Cochran, Janet Dougherty and Stacy White — qualified, as did write-in candidate Christopher Weaver.

The addition of Weaver to the candidate field means that, in all likelihood, only registered Republicans will have a say in choosing District 4's next commissioner.

Florida is a closed primary state, but when all the candidates for an election have the same party affiliation, state law requires the primary to be open to all registered voters.

By qualifying to run as a write-in, Weaver ensured a non-Republican opponent in November, even though his name will not appear on the ballot. (People can write his name in.)

Weaver's qualification also ensures that no Democrats or independents will be able to vote in the Republican primary, whose winner will be a prohibitive favorite in November.

Weaver, 50, a registered Republican and medical technology sales consultant from Lithia, did not return a call for comment Friday.

County commissioners serve four-year terms and earn $95,523 this year.

Will Hobson can be reached at (813) 226-3400 or [email protected]

Comments
Hotel renovator approved by council to restore New Port Richey’s Hacienda Hotel

Hotel renovator approved by council to restore New Port Richey’s Hacienda Hotel

NEW PORT RICHEY — A seasoned historic hotel renovator and operator is going to take a crack at getting New Port Richey’s city-owned Hacienda Hotel back into action. New Port Richey City Council members, acting as the Community Redevelopment Agency, u...
Published: 06/20/18
Pope Francis criticizes Trump’s family-separation policy on migrants, says ‘populism is not the solution’

Pope Francis criticizes Trump’s family-separation policy on migrants, says ‘populism is not the solution’

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis stepped into a growing controversy over President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, criticizing the separation of migrant families at the U.S.-Mexican border and saying that "populism" and "creating psychosis" are not t...
Published: 06/20/18
Raburn out in State House 57 race. Now who’s in?

Raburn out in State House 57 race. Now who’s in?

Well, that didn’t last long.U.S. Army veteran Michael Sean McCoy filed to run as the Republican candidate in the State House, District 57 race just hours after incumbent State Rep. Jake Raburn, R-Lithia, announced he was stepping down.McCoy, who live...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/20/18
Romano: A Tampa Bay ‘superstar’ caught in the crosshairs of Trump’s border policy

Romano: A Tampa Bay ‘superstar’ caught in the crosshairs of Trump’s border policy

At this moment, she is Tampa Bay’s most influential export. A smart, accomplished and powerful attorney making life-altering decisions on an international stage.But what of tomorrow? And the day after?When the story of President Donald Trump’s border...
Published: 06/19/18
‘Don’t leave me, Mom’: Detainee tells of separation from son

‘Don’t leave me, Mom’: Detainee tells of separation from son

SEATTLE — The call came at mealtime — an anonymous threat demanding $5,000 or her son’s life. So Blanca Orantes-Lopez, her 8-year-old boy and his father packed up and left the Pacific surfing town of Puerto La Libertad in El Salvador and headed for t...
Published: 06/19/18
Trump defiant as border crisis escalates, prepares to lobby House GOP on immigration bills

Trump defiant as border crisis escalates, prepares to lobby House GOP on immigration bills

WASHINGTON - As he prepared to visit Capitol Hill, President Donald Trump on Tuesday continued to insist that Congress produce comprehensive immigration legislation, while anxious Republicans explored a narrower fix to the administration policy of se...
Published: 06/19/18
Trump, GOP to huddle as outrage builds over border policy

Trump, GOP to huddle as outrage builds over border policy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Calls are mounting on Capitol Hill for the Trump administration to end the separation of families at the southern border ahead of a visit from President Donald Trump to discuss legislation.Trump’s meeting late Tuesday afternoon with...
Published: 06/19/18
Another detention center for immigrant children planned for Houston

Another detention center for immigrant children planned for Houston

Another facility intended for detaining undocumented children is reportedly in the works for Houston as the number of children separated from their parents at the border continues to swell.Southwest Key Programs, the same contractor that operates the...
Published: 06/19/18
Muralist working with huge St. Pete ‘canvas’ to create neighborhood eye-grabber

Muralist working with huge St. Pete ‘canvas’ to create neighborhood eye-grabber

ST. PETERSBURG — They appear to rise out of nowhere — two enormous, reclaimed-water tanks with an artist’s white clouds scudding across a blue background.A closer view reveals silhouettes of a lone coyote howling at the sky, mangrove islands, oak, cy...
Published: 06/19/18
FBI agent removed from Russia probe for anti-Trump texts says he’s willing to testify before Congress

FBI agent removed from Russia probe for anti-Trump texts says he’s willing to testify before Congress

The FBI agent who was removed from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election for sending anti-Trump texts intends to testify before the House Judiciary Committee and any other congressional committee that asks, his attorney sai...
Published: 06/17/18