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Al Higginbotham endorses Rebecca Smith in HD 60 race

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

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.

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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