Now that Ronda Storms has announced she is running for Hillsborough County Property Appraiser, here’s how the game of thrones might play out for her seat as well as the other seats impacted by her move.
Concerning Storms’s Senate seat, Tom Lee is the leading candidate. And in the last four hours, there has been a tremendous amount of arm-twisting for Lee which has only further cemented his front-runner status.
Reps. Rachel Burgin and Shawn Harrison are also likely to jump into the race. Burgin actually has some issues in her House seat, from what I’ve been hearing lately. And, by all accounts, she is eager to take on Lee.
Harrison’s chances for the State Senate may be underrated. I’ve always though Harrison was a sharp candidate, plus he has consultant Anthony Pedicini watching his back. No doubt Pedicini is playing a driving role in all of these maneuverings. Reportedly, Harrison has a brushfire poll in the field right now.
As for Rep. Rich Glorioso jumping in to the race, that’s just not going to happen. Not everyone gets to be a State Senator.
So, if Burgin and Henriquez jump, what will happen in their House seats? Well, Joe Wicker just dropped out of the race against Jake Raburn. I’m told he partially did so with the knowledge that all of this was in the works. Wicker could slide right into Burgin’s seat.
***Update***Joe Wicker just announced, “I am running for Rachel’s seat.”
Also, Brandon Chamber of Commerce President Jeff Reynolds is said to be eyeing a run for the State House, either in this race or against Jake Raburn.
Harrison’s seat could be more of a battleground. It may be time for Democrat Russ Patterson to dust off his yard signs and get ready to run again. I know of two strong Republicans eager to run, which I will share once they get their affairs in order.
It’s also important to note what won’t be happening. Jamie Grant would not move (back) into Harrison’s seat, which has part of Grant’s current district in it. Dana Young won’t be shifting out of south Tampa to run for Storms’s State Senate seat.
As for what didn’t happen: County Commissioner Mark Sharpe was very close to pulling the trigger on a run for Property Appraiser, which would have opened up a countywide seat on the Board. That would have started a whole new game of dominoes.
However, it appears we have enough speculation to get us through Memorial Day Weekend with an open State Senate seat and as many as three open State House seats.