Hillsborough’s Hagan easily wins Republican commission primary

Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan is seeking to switch from the District 5 to District 2 because of term limits.  [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan is seeking to switch from the District 5 to District 2 because of term limits. [DIRK SHADD | Times]
Published August 28 2018
Updated August 29 2018

TAMPA – Ken Hagan, Hillsborough County's longest tenured commissioner, will go to the general election seeking a fifth term in office.

With most precincts reported Tuesday night in the Republican primary for the District 2 seat, Hagan held a huge lead over challenger Chris Paradies, an attorney making his first run for office.

Hagan will face Democrat Angela Birdsong, a health and life insurance agent who was the only Democrat to file for the seat.

"I'm extremely humbled by the outpouring of support tonight," he said.

A cheerleader for efforts to bring the Tampa Bay Rays to Tampa, Hagan had been talked of as a potential candidate for Tampa mayor and was term-limited from running again for his countywide District 5 seat.

He ended that speculation in April 2017 by filing to run for the north Hillsborough district that first launched his career in 2002. A loophole in the county's term limits rules allows commissioners to switch from single member seats to countywide ones and vice versa.

Hagan raised $485,000 in campaign donations, dwarfing the $29,000 raised by Paradies.

Chris Paradies, 2018 candidate for Hillsborough County Commission

Still, other than fundraising, he has run a low-key campaign and did not attend several candidate forums.

"He didn't show up to anything,"  Paradies said.

Hagan spent only $98,000 during the primary campaign, meaning he will go into the General Election as a favorite because of better name recognition and a sizable campaign war chest.

Birdsong has raised just under $23,000.

For statewide election coverage check out The Buzz

For local election coverage check out the Bay Buzz

For school board election coverage check out The Gradebook.

Contact Christopher O'Donnell at codonnell@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3446. Follow @codonnell_Times

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