A second Democrat has filed to take over for first-term Democratic Rep. Ed Narain in the Hillsborough County-based House District 61.
Businesswoman Dianne Hart announced she would run for the seat Friday, joining former insurance consumer advocate and fellow Democrat Sean Shaw in the race.
“I was born and raised in District 61 where I have also owned and operated my current business, Ms. Dee’s World of Beauty, for over 30 years,” Hart said Friday. “But the heart of my ties in the district comes from my work in this community.”
The Tampa Democrat has served as the CEO of the East Tampa Business and Civic Association, a board member of the Hillsborough County Children’s Advisory Center and as a member of the Affordable Housing Trust Fund Task Force.
“I have firsthand knowledge and understanding of the needs and problems we face in this District. Our community needs better services for our children, the elderly and the disadvantaged,” Hart said. “Economic development is critical to our district and will enable us to create stronger and safer neighborhoods. I vow to continue to work tirelessly for and with the people of our community, small-business owners, and neighborhood watch organizations to improve the quality of life throughout District 61.”
Hart’s announcement came alongside an endorsement from Woodlawn Terrace Neighborhood Association President Ruth Fleming, who called Hart has “a cornerstone for our community, socially and politically.”
Hart’s entry into the race came four days after Sean Shaw filed his paperwork for the majority-minority seat. Shaw is the son of Florida’s first black state supreme court justice, Leander Shaw Jr., and was one of four Democrats to run for the seat in 2014, losing out to Narain by 7 points in the primary election.