Hillsborough County Commission: District 7

Published Oct. 16, 2014

County Commission | District 7

Prevented by term limits from running again in eastern Hillsborough's District 4, Commissioner Al Higginbotham is running in at-large, countywide District 7 for another term. Pat Kemp, a lawyer and former aide to then-Commissioner Kathy Castor, stands in his way. The seat is being vacated by Republican Mark Sharpe, who is leaving due to term limits. By Will Hobson, Times staff writer

Patricia "Pat" Kemp, 57Al Higginbotham, 60
Experience A former chairwoman of the HIllsborough Democratic Party, Kemp has advocated locally for parks, the homeless, voters' rights, conservation and expanding local transportation options. The Plant City native has represented east Hillsborough on the commission since 2006. The former chairman of the Hillsborough Republican Party took the lead in luring the "Bollywood Oscars" to Tampa.
EducationBachelor's degree in journalism from Boston University; law degree from Stetson College of Law.Bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Florida.
Do you support a tax package for new transit? 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. In 2010, I opposed the referendum for transportation because I felt it lacked the necessary details to succeed. I am confident we are on the right course with the formation of the Transportation Leadership Policy Group to a community-based decision which I will support.
What industries, if any, would you support with public incentives?I would never use them for things like Bass Pro Shops, who would have located here in any event. I would try to build upon our traditional foundation in health care and med-tech and defense industries and financial services.We are one of the leaders in job growth in the state and nation. Our problem has been and continues to be workforce. We are working with local educational institutions and employers, especially manufacturers.
How would you promote growth while protecting against sprawl?I am a strong supporter of growth management. I believe we should implement mobility fees in order to require new growth to pay a greater share of its impacts on infrastructure. There will always be a challenge in mandating where a family wants to live. However, through the development of programs such as Economic Development Areas, this issue can be addressed.
Financial disclosureAssets: House, stock, retirement fund. Liabilities: Personal credit line. Income: Law practice income, investments. Assets: Three houses, car. Liabilities: Mortgage. Income: Commissioner salary, rental income.
PersonalSingle, two adult children. Married with two adult children.

About the job: The winner will serve a four-year term representing countywide District 7. Commissioners approve a nearly $4 billion budget, direct policy for the county and earn $95,782 annually.