1. Florida Politics

Hillsborough County Commission, District 4

County Commission | District 4

School Board member Stacy White was the early entry in the race to replace Republican Commissioner Al Higginbotham in this conservative district, but Janet Dougherty and Rick Cochran joined later and have raised substantial money. The winner of this Republican primary faces a write-in opponent in November. Will Hobson, Times staff writer

Rick Cochran, 49 Retired police detective Janet Dougherty, 53 President, Sage Eco Solutions Stacy White, 41 Pharmacist, Hillsborough School Board member
Experience Fresh off a 24-year career at the Tampa Police Department, Cochran is making his first foray into politics. He's emphasizing his career in public service, which also includes service in the Air Force, and advertises himself as a "principled conservative" who will "focus on issues that affect everyone." A lifelong Hillsborough resident, Dougherty ran for commission once before — in 1984, when she was 22. Dougherty's family has long been active in local Republican circles; her mother was a longtime state committeewoman, and her father ran for several offices, including state senator and lieutenant governor. She owns an environmental consulting firm. After four years on the Hillsborough School Board, White wants to bring his self-described "fiscally conservative voice" to the County Commission. White is also socially conservative, but has said he wouldn't expect to champion social issues as a county commissioner. He wants to "advocate for a community that offers quality of life without an excessive tax burden."
Education Bachelor's degree in criminology from Saint Leo University Bachelor's degree in public administration with a minor in public policy from Eckerd College Doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of Florida
Do you support a tax package for a new transit system? Why? The county's transportation system is outdated and broken. Speaking with the residents of south and east county, I cannot support a tax. I believe we can find the necessary funds within our current budget to make improvements. The county's transportation system is in major gridlock. Transportation has been a No. 1 issue on voters' minds. Although I prefer to find money within the county budget, I will look and consider any and all solutions. There is no doubt that we need to remedy our traffic gridlock. I do not support placing an increased tax burden on our citizens and, therefore, do not support a tax package for rail. Rail may be an option 50 years from now, with proper planing, but would be a waste of dollars today.
How would you vote on a proposed expansion of the human rights ordinance? I would obviously need to see the final language. That being said, discrimination of any sort has no place in our county, and the passage of this would simply bring us into alignment with other communities. I would vote in favor. I am against any discrimination. I am unable to comment on how I would vote because the ordinance's language is still being developed. I can not make an informed comment on a vote for a document that has yet to be created. I don't think that anyone should be mistreated or have action taken against them at work for nonwork- related factors. How would an ordinance on an issue that is intensely private be enforced? The question of one's sexual preference is one that simply shouldn't be asked. I would vote against the ordinance.
Assets Home, car, stocks, bank account House, bank accounts, ownership stake in company Retirement accounts, home, bank accounts
Liabilities Mortgage Mortgage, car loan, legal bill Mortgage, car loan, boat loan
Income Pension Salary, alimony, rental income Pharmacist income, School Board salary
Personal Married with two adult children Single with one adult child Married with three children

Retired police detective

President, Sage Eco Solutions

Pharmacist, Hillsborough School Board member

About the job: This primary is the de facto election to represent District 4, which covers much of east Hillsborough. Commissioners approve a nearly $4 billion budget, direct policy for the county and earn $95,523 annually. The District 4 representative will serve a four-year term.