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Rebecca Smith enters HD 60 race

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Tampa businesswoman Rebecca Smith announced on Thursday that she is now a candidate for the Hillsborough County area House District 60 seat.

The seat is currently occupied by Dana Young, but she will vacate it this fall, as she attempts to advance to the state Senate District 18 seat recently created due to redistricting.

“Over the past three decades, I’ve built a successful business here in Tampa,” Smith said in a statement. “I know what it takes to balance a budget, meet payroll, provide for employees and their families, grow the business to create more jobs and opportunity, and make the tough choices necessary, both when times are good and when times are challenging.”

Smith, a Republican founded The A.D. Morgan Corporation, in 1989 at the age of 29, with a $10,000 loan from her father during real estate crisis of the late 80’s. She is a class “A” certified general contractor and is a graduate of the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture and a Master of Science degree in Building Construction. Since it’s founding, A. D. Morgan has grossed over $400 million in revenues. She has also served as a board member for the Tampa/Hillsborough Expressway Authority since 2009.

She’s won a number of awards for her work in the business community, including General Contractor of the Year for 2016 by the Tampa Bay American Institute of Architects.

Smith is the second Republican to announce her candidacy for the HD 60 seat. Tampa civil engineer Jackie Toledo, who declared her candidacy earlier this year.

No Democrat has officially entered the contest to date, though Tampa City Councilman Harry Cohen and Tampa attorney David Singer have been rumored to be considering entering the race.

HD 60 includes all of South Tampa, much of south Hillsborough County, and Town N Country.

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Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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