In the race to succeed Dana Young in the Hillsborough County District 6 race, two local Republicans are battling it out for the November general election: Rebecca Smith and Jackie Toledo.
It appears that much, if not most of the Republican establishment, however, is firmly behind Smith to win the Aug. 30 primary and face Democrat David Singer in November.
On Thursday, the Smith campaign announced that Hillsborough County Commissioner Al Higginbotham is backing the Tampa businesswoman in the contest.
“I’ve come to know Rebecca Smith over the last several years,” said Higginbotham. “I have been most impressed with Rebecca’s honesty and integrity, and with the solutions-oriented approach she brings to the tasks before her. We need independent leaders with integrity who will fight for our shared values in our state capitol. I believe Rebecca Smith will do just that, and she has my strong support and endorsement.”
“I am humbled and honored to have the support of Hillsborough Commissioner Al Higginbotham,” said Smith. “He serves our community well and is a man of the highest integrity. I am grateful for his endorsement.”
Higginbotham’s endorsement follow one by former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker earlier this week, as the collective GOP establishment coalesces around her campaign. Smith has raised the most money in the race, though more than half of it – $146,000 – has come as a loan to herself.