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Hagan draws second challenger

(ran SS edition of METRO & STATE)

County Commissioner Ken Hagan, facing re-election after scarcely a year in office, acquired his second opponent Monday.

Tom Jones, 65, of Carrollwood filed to challenge Hagan in the Republican primary for the District 2 seat representing north Hillsborough County.

Jones has never sought office before, but has extensive connections. A retired Army colonel, Jones is community manager of the Plantation of Carrollwood, a neighborhood of 1,832 homes off Gunn Highway. He also is president of the Carrollwood Area Association of Neighborhoods, which represents 40 neighborhood associations containing 20,000 houses.

"This year, I just feel that neighborhood voices need to be heard in the county, and I'm the guy to do it," he said.

Also in the Republican race is Rod Gaudin, a Lutz restaurateur who lost to Hagan while running without party affiliation in 2002. Gaudin filed on Nov. 10. Hagan filed to seek re-election on Jan. 14. No Democrat has entered the race.

The District 2 seat won by Hagan carried a two-year term so the commission would have staggered terms after the district lines were redrawn to accommodate population changes. The winner in November's election will receive a normal four-year term.