All signs point to Mark Sharpe announcing he WILL run for Congress. Probably.

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Despite some last-minute indecision, as reported here and by the Tampa Tribune, all signs point to Hillsborough County Commissioner Mark Sharpe announcing he WILL run for Congress, challenging Democrat Kathy Castor for her seat — the district lines of which are expected to be severely redrawn during the upcoming reapportionment process.

“It’s a go,” said one adviser close to Sharpe and familiar with the eleventh-hour discussions taking place within Sharpe’s kitchen cabinet.  Sharpe had made up his mind last week, announcing Tuesday that he would reveal his decision at an 11:30 a.m. press conference on Monday at Buddy Brew Coffee.  But after Sharpe made his announcement to announce, the maverick Republican began to get cold feet and was on the fence by Friday.

What may be influencing Sharpe’s decision are two factors: one, Sharpe does not have to resign-to-run for a Congressional bid, so he will not have to vacate his County Commission seat no matter what the outcome of the race; second, Sharpe’s campaign has reviewed several of the proposed maps of what Castor’s district will look like after redistricting under several different scenarios and all of them show a district increasingly favorable to a Republican candidate.

Still, Sharpe has told friends that he is “torn between an obligation to family and a duty to go to Washington to help the country” and so tonight’s ‘Yes’ could easily turn into tomorrow’s ‘No.’

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.