Tom Scott joins race for Hillsborough election supervisor

Published March 28, 2012

TAMPA — Former Hillsborough County commissioner and Tampa City Council member Tom Scott says he will seek public office again.

Scott, 58, a Democrat, says he will file paperwork Monday to run for Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections. He will join Democrat Craig Latimer and Republican state Rep. Rich Glorioso in the race. Current supervisor Earl Lennard is not seeking another term.

"Now is the time for experienced leadership," Scott said in news release. "I am in this race because many people from throughout this community have asked me to re-enter public service. I am concerned about the direction of our government and I realize that direction starts with voters' rights, their confidence in the election process and access to a fair and non-partisan election system."

His announcement was expected, as Scott has previously said he was considering it.

Scott has been the pastor at 34th Street Church of God for just more than 30 years. The church was the location Tuesday of a rally in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford.

Scott has spent 14 years in elected office, 10 as a county commissioner ending in 2006, and another four on the Tampa City Council after that. He ran for Tampa mayor in 2011, a race ultimately won by Bob Buckhorn.

He noted in his release that he served three years as the County Commission chairman, selected by his fellow board members, including Republicans. He also was selected by his fellow board members three times as City Council chairman. As chairman of the County Commission, he was one of that board's appointees to the county's canvassing board, which certifies vote tabulations. He said he has developed a reputation through his years in public office for working across party lines.

"I am a good fit for this position because of my ability to work with people regardless of their party affiliation," Scott said.