New ad from Al Higginbotham ad is 100% mud-slinging free

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Hillsborough County Commissioner Al Higginbotham released a TV spot today letting friends highlight his accomplishments during his two terms on the board.

State Representative Dana Young kicks off the 30-second spot.

“I’ve watched Al Higginbotham working hard for Hillsborough County taxpayers cutting taxes and keeping our spending under control, making our economy stronger.”

Higginbotham’s colleague on the board, fellow Republican Sandra Murman, takes over from there.

“Together we are working on transportation planning for the future. We have accomplished much, but there is still work to do.”

Higginbotham is running for the countywide District 7 seat being vacated by Mark Sharpe. He faces three challengers in the primary – Tim Schock, Robin Lester and Don Kruse. With $220,000 in campaign contributions, Higginbotham is outraising his opponents handily. Schock, Lester and Kruse have raised $72,000, $25,000 and about $6,000 respectively.

Higginbotham also faces a Democrat in November if he wins the August 26 primary. Attorney Pat Kemp and former Kevin Beckner campaign staffer Mark Nash will duke it out in the primary. Both are far behind Higginbotham in fundraising. Kemp has raised just over $40,000, Nash a little more than $60,000.

Higginbotham’s ad makes no mention of any of his candidates. That’s a breath of fresh air considering Mark Nash this week sent out a mailer slamming Kemp for her time serving as chair of the Hillsborough County Democratic Party. The mailer points out several candidates who lost elections under her reign and shows a black and white photograph of Kemp looking quite menacing.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.