Republican Billy Christensen, a Seffner real estate agent, has filed to challenge Democratic Hillsborough County Elections Supervisor Craig Latimer.
Christensen, 43, a first-time candidate and a newcomer to politics, is seeking to appeal to election skepticism common among Republicans since former President Donald Trump’s 2020 defeat. In a Facebook posting he said he plans on “bringing integrity, accountability, and transparency back to our elections!”
But unseating Latimer is likely to be tough for any opponent. He won the office comfortably in 2012 and was unopposed in 2016 and 2020.
Christensen’s campaign website says he is a former Air Force intelligence operations analyst, “a conservative that believes in traditional American values … Christian and a true American patriot.”
It criticizes Latimer over a data hack last May that may have exposed full or the partial Social Security and driver’s license numbers of 58,000 voters. They were notified of the breach in June.
The breach affected files used in “list maintenance” — cleaning voter rolls of deceased or inactive voters — but not voter registration or vote tabulation files, which have extra security.
Asked how he would have prevented the breach, Christensen didn’t answer specifically but said the supervisor’s office should have updated voters on the investigation of the breach.
Latimer spokeswoman Gerri Kramer said the FBI is still investigating the incident.
“We stopped the intrusion and it did not lead to any further malicious activity. We notified those whose personal information was exposed, and in most cases that information did not include a full SSN,” she said via email.
Christensen also criticized Latimer’s use of a $3 million grant from “big tech” for a 2020 voter outreach and education ad campaign. The grant came from Chicago-based organization that advocates for civic engagement, which had in turn received a donation from Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Republicans object to such campaigns, saying they affect minorities and first-time voters who are more likely to be Democrats.