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
Updated August 29

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 [email protected] or (813) 226-3446. Follow @codonnell_Times

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