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Conservative enters commission race against Mark Sharpe

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

An upcoming county commission primary race could test whether hard-core conservatives will continue to dominate Hillsborough County’s Republican Party.

The contest pits incumbent District 7 Commissioner Mark Sharpe against conservative Josh Burgin, a former executive administrator with the county GOP. Burgin entered the race hours before last Friday’s noon qualifying deadline.

It’s been well known in Republican political circles that conservatives were looking for someone to challenge Sharpe because of his advocacy of a 1 cent sales tax for mass transit and road projects. Burgin, who has never held elected office, said he waited until the last minute to see if anyone else would take on Sharpe in the primary.

“I just felt it was not right that no one challenged the commissioner who was actively seeking to raise taxes and grow government,” the 34-year-old Burgin said. “As a conservative, his position bothered me for some time.” Continue reading here.

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.

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