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Democrat Andrew Warren announces bid for State Attorney in Hillsborough County

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Andrew Warren, a Gainesville native and former Justice Department attorney has announced his bid to run for State Attorney in the 13th judicial district, which encompasses Hillsborough County.

“I’ve been talking with community leaders, friends, and family about how I can best continue to serve and where we can do better for Hillsborough,” the 39-year-old Democrat said in a statement sent to SPB on Tuesday. “As my daughters grow up, I know firsthand that every family deserves a safe place to raise their kids and build a future. For nearly a decade, I’ve been working for the United States Department of Justice to protect our community, and I would continue to bring my full commitment to protecting every family in our communities as your next State Attorney.”

Warren was a  federal prosecutor working with the U.S. Justice Department until last month, when he stepped down to begin his run for office in a seat held by Republican incumbent Mark Ober for nearly 16 years.
Coincidentally, one of the cases he had been working on until he voluntarily stepped down from the U.S. Attorney’s office was also in the news on Tuesday.

As reported by the Tampa Bay Times, a federal judge on Monday dismissed 12 counts of a  13-count indictment against Brevard County businessman Tom Biddix on accusations he defrauded the government of $32 million. The dismissal came at the request of an attorney with the Justice Department. The Times reported that Warren was the lead prosecutor in the case, until he stopped working on it last month.

The State Attorney’s office is just one of several positions in local government that Hillsborough County Democrats have generated little to no political competition for in recent years.
Ober defeated Democrat Robert Shimberg the last time the seat was open in 2000, following the suicide of former State Attorney Harry Lee Coe.
In addition to the State Attorney’s Office, Democrats in recent years have barely offered any opposition to Sheriff David Gee or Tax Collector Doug Belden. And it’s uncertain if they would have challenged former Republican incumbent Rob Turner for Property Appraiser in 2012, before embarrassing revelations helped doom him in that contest  (Democrat Bob Henriquez defeated Ronda Storms in 2012, after Storms defeated Turner in the GOP Primary).

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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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