Friday, June 22, 2018


Christopher O'Donnell

Christopher O'Donnell

Christopher O'Donnell is a general assignment and local government reporter with the Tampa Bay Times. He was born and grew up in London, England, where he worked for IBM and Citi as a computer programmer and IT analyst. After moving to Florida in 2001, he earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of South Florida before landing a job with the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. During a seven-year stint there, he earned a Florida Society of News Editors award for his coverage of K-12 education. Before joining the Times, he spent three years with the Tampa Tribune and covered city government in both St. Petersburg and Tampa and led coverage of the Tampa Bay Rays' quest for a new ballpark. Away from work, Chris rides his road bicycle on local trails and is an avid soccer fan.

Hillsborough County Commissioner Stacy White will face Democrat Andrew Davis in the November General Election.

No easy ride for three Hillsborough commissioners up for election

TAMPA – All three Hillsborough County commissioners seeking to stay in office will face election battles  this year.The contest for District 4 will be between incumbent Republican Stacy White and Democrat Andrew Davis,...
Updated: 1 hour ago
County Commissioner, Sandra L. Murman has filed to run for Clerk of the Court in 2020. The move comes after she recently withdrew from the race for a countywide commission seat. She would be term limited in 2020. CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times

Murman files to run for Clerk of the Court in 2020

TAMPA – Two weeks after her surprise withdrawal from the race for a Hillsborough County Commission seat, Republican Commission Chairwoman Sandy Murman dropped another political bombshell Friday by filing to run for Clerk of the...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Cross Bay Ferry, seen here docked at the St. Petersburg Museum of History on 335 Second Ave. NE, started operating in April 2016 and finished the trial run in November 2017.

Hillsborough County commissioners on board for return of ferry service

TAMPA – St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman cleared another hurdle in his bid to bring back a seasonal ferry service between his city and Tampa when Hillsborough County commissioners agreed to back the project.Kriseman is asking...
Published: 06/20/18
Democratic Hillsborough County Commission candidate Mark Nash has jumped from the District 5 to  District 7.

Candidates rush to fill void left by Murman’s withdrawal from District 7

TAMPA – The chance to run for an open seat on the Hillsborough County Commission doesn't come along often.That might explain why there are now 10 wannabe commissioners vying for the countywide District 7 seat.Democrat...
Published: 06/19/18
Ray Chiaramonte, executive director of the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority, filed Monday to run for Hillsborough County Commission District 7.

Executive director of TBARTA runs for Hillsborough County Commission

TAMPA – Ray Chiaramonte, the executive director of the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority, has entered the race for the Hillsborough County Commission District 7 seat.Chiaramonte filed papers Monday with the Hillsborough...
Published: 06/11/18
Hillsborough County Commission Chairwoman Sandy Murman initially filed to run for District 7 but now may be staying in her District 1 seat.

Murman decision to withdraw from District 7 race shakes up county commission race

TAMPA — In the year since County Commission Chairwoman Sandy Murman filed to switch to commission District 7, she raised more than $180,000 to fund a race for the countywide seat.But in a surprise move Friday, Murman let a deadline...
Published: 06/08/18
Hillsborough County commissioners voted 5-2 to extend the waiting period for purchasing a firearm from three to five days.

Waiting period to purchase firearms in Hillsborough County extended to five days

TAMPA – In a move prompted by the horrific Parkland high school shooting, the waiting period to purchase a firearm in Hillsborough County is now five days.County commissioners today  voted 5-2 to lengthen the so-called...
Updated: 2 months ago
Zombie Campaigns/Times illustration

FEC plans crackdown on zombie campaigns

The federal agency that oversees elections has announced a crackdown on former lawmakers who continue to spend leftover campaign donations long after leaving office.The Federal Election Commission announced Wednesday that it will start...
Updated: 2 months ago
Zombie Campaigns/Times illustration

Bilirakis, Castor target ‘zombie campaigns’ loophole with new restrictions

ST. PETERSBURG — Two local members are calling on Congress to close a loophole that allows ex-lawmakers to hoard unspent campaign donations for years after they leave office.Rep. Gus Bilirakis, the Palm Harbor Republican, and Rep. Kathy...
Updated: 3 months ago
Chuck Sykes and Ron Christaldi spoke at Cafe con Tampa last week about a new Tampa Bay Rays ballpark proposed for Ybor City. Their  Tampa Bay Rays 2020 group will tomorrow name a list of 100 business leaders who are supporting their campaign.

Rays booster group says it has 100 business leaders ready to back move to Ybor City

TAMPA – The business booster group looking to drum up corporate support for a Tampa Bay Rays move to Ybor City will tomorrow unveil a list of 100 business leaders they say are on board with their campaign.Tampa Bay Rays 2020 will unveil...
Updated: 3 months ago