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Scott Levinson concedes defeat in Hillsborough Commission race

The political outsider collected more than 49 percent of the vote against Harry Cohen.
Democrat Harry Cohen, left, defeated Republican Scott Levinson for the Hillsborough County Commission District 1 seat.
Democrat Harry Cohen, left, defeated Republican Scott Levinson for the Hillsborough County Commission District 1 seat. [ Cohen campaign | Levinson campaign ]
Published Nov. 4, 2020

TAMPA ― Republican Scott Levinson conceded his election defeat to Democrat Harry Cohen Wednesday in the Hillsborough County Commission District 1 race.

Unofficial results showed Cohen winning by a 2,613-vote margin out of more than 179,000 votes cast. Levinson said Tuesday night he would wait until all provisional ballots were counted before commenting, even though Cohen has issued a victory statement.

Wednesday afternoon, however, Levinson said he had called Cohen to offer his congratulations.

Levinson, after stunning the political establishment by winning the Republican primary in August, tallied more than 49 percent of the votes in his race against the better-financed Cohen.

"Once again, I am shocked as the first time,'' Levinson said.

But Levinson said he plans to run again.

“You can count on it,” he said. “It was the greatest experience I ever had. I definitely plan to be back in two years.”

Levinson, 55, formerly owned a wholesale meat business and now is executive director of a 4,000-member Tampa Bay Youth Football League. He ran, he said, because he experienced the slow pace of government, particularly when he sought field and playground repairs at county parks.

Campaign finance reports showed Cohen, through the primary and general election cycles, had raised 11 times more in contributions than Levinson, who embraced the role of underdog and poked fun at his lack of campaign cash.

Tampa Bay Times elections coverage

ELECTION RESULTS — FLORIDA AND TAMPA BAY: See all races, statewide and in Hillsborough, Pinellas and other Tampa Bay counties.

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