Election day is still about a year and a half away, but candidates are lining up now to replace state Rep. Kevin Ambler.
Republicans Tom Aderhold and Rich Reidy have filed papers to run in House District 47 when term limits force Ambler, R-Lutz, out of the seat in 2010.
Aderhold, 65, is the president of the Keystone Civic Association and the retired owner of a human resources and risk management firm.
He said it's clear the state still has work to do on insurance, property taxes and transportation. It also needs to address a continuing water shortage and foster diversified growth.
"We have to stay a vibrant and growing state, but we grow in many different ways," he said. "We have focused for too long on just building. … I want to be sure I leave the state in the best possible condition."
Reidy, a 51-year-old Lutz resident, has been the chief aide to Hillsborough County Commission Chairman Ken Hagan for six years. He touts his work in a variety of areas, particularly his creation of an Internet safety program for children in Hillsborough libraries, a program he's trying to take statewide.
He said Hillsborough needs someone in Tallahassee who understands the work local officials are doing on transportation projects like rail and high-tech economic development.
"We need to take bold steps," he said. "We need to have everybody on the same page: residents, local leaders, state leaders."
In August, Aderhold challenged Reidy's boss in the GOP primary for a Hillsborough County Commission seat, but Hagan won re-election handily.
The race for Ambler's seat is just one link in a chain of political moves and switches worthy of Rube Goldberg.
To start, Ambler and Hillsborough County Commissioner Jim Norman have filed to run for the state Senate District 12 seat held now held by Sen. Victor Crist.
Meanwhile, Hagan, whose term ends in 2012, has announced plans to leave his County Commission District 2 seat early to run for Norman's District 5 seat in 2010.
And Crist, who is leaving the Senate, plans to run for Hagan's seat on the County Commission.
So far, no Democrats have filed to run in House District 47, which includes some or all of Odessa, Keystone, Lutz, Cheval, Northdale, Carrollwood and Citrus Park.
But there still could be more GOP candidates to come.
Former Hillsborough County Commissioner Brian Blair, who was ousted in November by Kevin Beckner, has said he might seek Ambler's House seat or Norman's County Commission seat. Other names mentioned as possible candidates in District 47 include former state Sen. John Grant and Christian conservative Bill Bunkley.
There's time for everyone to sort out their plans. The primary is scheduled for Aug. 24, 2010.