1. Florida Politics

Hillsborough County Commission, District 7 (Democrat)

County Commission | District 7

Two Democratic former County Commission aides are vying to replace Republican Mark Sharpe, leaving due to term limits. Mark Nash worked for current Commissioner Kevin Beckner, while Pat Kemp worked for U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor when she was a commissioner. Both argue it's important to replace outspoken transit advocate Sharpe with a Democrat, as some Republican candidates oppose more taxes for transportation. Will Hobson, Times staff writer

Patricia "Pat" Kemp, 57 Lawyer Mark Nash, 52 Consultant
Experience A former legislative aide for elected officials at local, state and federal government, Kemp has also advocated locally for parks, the homeless, voters' rights, conservation and expanding local transportation options. A former chairwoman of the Hillsborough Democratic Party, Kemp ran for the District 58 state House seat in 2010, losing to Democrat Janet Cruz. This is a second run for the commission for Nash, who unsuccessfully tried to unseat Al Higginbotham in 2012. Nash has been active in local politics since 2005, serving on several local boards, including the Tampa/Hillsborough Human Rights Council. He worked in sales and marketing for Gillette Co. before going to work for himself as a business consultant.
Education Bachelor's degree in journalism from Boston University, law degree from Stetson College of Law Bachelor's degree in criminology from Florida State University
Do you support a tax package for a new transit system? Why? Creating a livable community that has robust living and commuting options is essential for attracting talent and 21st century jobs. I do support a sales tax referendum to fund a diverse investment in our transportation infrastructure as well as a market-based mobility fee. I do not think it proper for existing taxpayers to shoulder so much of the burden for new growth. Hillsborough County's current transportation system is substandard. That failed tax initiative in 2010 has spooked local officials. Our best option now is to use city, county, state and federal dollars to build a demonstrator light rail line from our airport to downtown. We can then craft a better plan — possible tax package — to ask residents to invest in our transit needs.
How would you vote on a proposed expansion of the human rights ordinance? In favor. If we're serious about protecting human rights and we're serious about a new generation of economic development here, we have to remove barriers like this and open up and move forward. My vote would be to approve such an ordinance. This opportunity is about much more than inclusion and fairness. As our county and region attempt to grow and prosper, this position would match that of the corporate world, whose values have long embraced inclusive policy toward employees.
Assets House, stock, retirement fund House, car, bank accounts, coin/stamp collection
Liabilities Personal credit line None
Income Law practice income, investments None
Personal Single, with two adult children Single, no children



About the job: The winner faces a Republican in November to represent District 7, an at-large countywide seat. Commissioners approve a nearly $4 billion budget, direct policy for the county and earn $95,523 annually. The District 7 representative will serve a four-year term.