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Hillsborough County chair Les Miller endorses Ed Narain in SD 19 race

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Democratic Rep. Ed Narain announced Monday that Hillsborough County Commission Chairman Lesley “Les” Miller has endorsed his bid for the District 19 seat in the Florida Senate. “I’ve known Ed Narain since he was a student leader at the University of South Florida and now as State Representative,” said Miller, who himself served 14 years as a lawmaker. “His leadership and ability to bring people together are rare features in elected officials today.” “Having been elected Chair of the Legislative…

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Joe Henderson: Tom Lee’s tough, surprising choice

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I’m a little surprised by Tom Lee’s decision to run for re-election to the state Senate. Along with just about everyone else in the media and Florida politics, I’ve had lengthy chats with Lee about his future since a judge drew new district lines that essentially forced him to make a tough decision. Because his current Brandon home now lies in a different district than the one Lee represents, he had three choices: Challenge Senate Majority Leader Bill Galvano if…

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Joe Henderson: Why not give voters say on Hillsborough County transportation tax?

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So, the Hillsborough County Commission decided, again, to take an important decision out of the hands of those most affected. The public is once again denied the chance to decide if wants to tax itself to pay for things like roads, buses and other transportation necessities. Undeterred by traffic jams and studies showing a quarter-million more people will move to Hillsborough real soon, commissioners Thursday voted 4-3 not to proceed with a November referendum for a 20-year sales tax hike…

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Charlie Justice highlights strong Hillsborough-Pinellas relationship during Tampa campaign stop

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“By joining together, we can be more effective,” said Pinellas County Commission Chairman Charlie Justice at a Tampa fundraiser for his re-election campaign. Justice has been on the trail since last October, so far drawing one competitor, the well-funded Republican Mike Mikurak. But Thursday night, at Southern Strategy Group’s Tampa Bay office, Justice’s message wasn’t focused on competition, but cooperation between local governments — an issue which Justice believes Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties have recently excelled at. “Over the last year,…

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Hillsborough, Pinellas hoping joint transit grant bid finds favor with feds

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Thanks to some smart planning and a little federal insight, Pinellas County Commission won’t be going after this year’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery [TIGER] grant money. Instead, commissioners will support the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority and Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority’s joint application for those same dollars. The Board of County Commissioners formally agreed to approve a letter of support for the move at its March 29 regular meeting. “For several years, Pinellas County has submitted our own application…

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#20 on list of Tampa Bay’s Most Powerful Politicians — Sandy Murman

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At times, 2015 proved a bumpy road for Sandy Murman, the Davis Islands-based lawmaker. Perhaps the biggest blow came when her Hillsborough Board of County Commission colleagues ousted her from her chairwoman position. That followed a less-than-warm reception to her alternative plan to raise money for transportation projects in the county, a plan that allowed her to declare her opposition to the Go Hillsborough sales tax plan that might go on the ballot this fall. Murman was also caught in…

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Kevin Beckner endorsed by pro-LGBT Victory Fund

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Kevin Beckner has nabbed a prestigious endorsement from the national Victory Fund for his bid to become Hillsborough County’s next Clerk of the Circuit Court. “Kevin Beckner has been a champion for equality by working to successfully pass a countywide Domestic Partner Registry, overturning a ban on Gay Pride, and getting a countywide Human Rights Ordnance passed,” said Aisha Moodie-Mills, president of the Victory Fund. “Kevin has also worked to balance the budget, attract new businesses to Hillsborough County, been…

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