Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Archive

On the School Board campaign trail in Hillsborough

First: Those electronic billboards on the highways, advertising Dipa Shah's law practice. Astute observers have noticed them. Is this campaign advertising without being identified as such?

Not at all, Shah insisted when we asked her about them. Rather, she said, she's been trying to build up her Brandon-based practice, which primarily assists small businesses.

Shah hopes to unseat April Griffin, the two-term incumbent in countywide District 6.

In South Tampa, meanwhile, Sally Harris battles Michelle Shimberg for the District 2 seat. After she narrowly edged out Michael Weston for a runoff spot, Harris took criticism over Weston's Facebook post, which said: "Shimberg supports status-quo - status-quo that has killed special needs students in your District!" Shimberg's campaign called the post "deplorable" and chastized Harris for allowing the statement to be made on her behalf.

Harris, at the time, said she asked Weston to "soften" the statement. He reworded it slightly, using the phrase "status quo responsible for the negligence that led to the deaths of special needs students."

But, far from distancing herself from Weston, Harris last month paid Weston $1,000 as a campaign strategy planner.

Over to District 4 in East Hillsborough, where Terry Kemple continues to focus on Common Core in his contest against insurance agent Melissa Snively. On Tuesday he invited supporters to an event at the Bloomingdale Regional Library featuring Dr. Karen Effrem, a pediatrician and researcher who's one of the leaders of the Florida Stop Common Core Coalition.

Kemple did, however, take a slight detour over the weekend to promote an anti-abortion rally in Brandon.