Mary Ann Stiles abandons campaign for an elected Hillsborough County mayor

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The campaign for an elected Hillsborough County mayor has run out of steam.

Mary Ann Stiles, chairwoman of the Elected County Mayor Political Committee Inc., said her group will not seek to put the question of replacing the existing county administrator position with a powerful county mayor on the ballot in the 2012 general election.

“If someone else wants to take over, I’ll support them, but I just don’t have the time or money,” she said Wednesday. “It’s sad, because there’s still a lot of support for it.”

Stiles, a Tampa lawyer, was the driving force behind the move to reshape Hillsborough’s political landscape, pumping thousands of dollars of her own money into the campaign.

Hillsborough County is governed by a seven-member commission that hires an administrator to oversee daily operations of the county government. Under a county mayor government, an elected mayor would be the county’s most powerful politician while the commission would be a policymaking body.

Stiles’ group failed to gather enough signatures to get the question on the ballot in the 2006 election. In 2008, the group collected enough signatures but the proposed referendum was knocked off the ballot after a court challenge over an incorrect date on the petition residents signed.

Continue reading Christian Wade’s story here.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, 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.