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Sandy Murman cruises to victory over Jeff Zampitella in Hillsborough County Commission

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

Incumbent Sandra Murman cruised to victory Tuesday over Democrat Jeff Zampitella in the Hillsborough County Commission District 1 race.

With 69 of 86 precincts reporting, Murman held a 57-43 percent lead over Zampitella.

“I knew this was going to be a tough cycle, so we ran a whole campaign all the way,” she said. “A lot of people in my district have benefitted from the hard work I’ve done on their behalf, and I think that showed.”

Murman, a longtime political fixture in Hillsborough, was elected to the County Commission in 2010 after serving eight years in the Florida House. She was re-elected without opposition to the commission in 2012.

Zampitella, a commercial airline pilot, has been active in neighborhood issues and associations. He was a strong opponent of the $6 billion Tampa Bay Express transportation plan known as TBX. He also served on Tampa’s Downtown Partnership parking task force.

Murman has supported TBX, which Zampitella tried to use against her in the campaign. Murman also advocates expanded bus service and use of the new Cross Bay Ferry.

Zampitella faced long odds from the outset. Murman raised more than $300,000 and had strong name recognition, far more than Zampitella.

He banked his chances on competing in a diverse district that runs from Lutz in northern Hillsborough to Ruskin in the south part of the county.

Joe Henderson has had a 45-year career in newspapers, including the last nearly 42 years at The Tampa Tribune. He covered a large variety of things, primarily in sports but also including hard news. The two intertwined in the decade-long search to bring Major League Baseball to the area. Henderson was also City Hall reporter for two years and covered all sides of the sales tax issue that ultimately led to the construction of Raymond James Stadium. He served as a full-time sports columnist for about 10 years before moving to the metro news columnist for the last 4 ½ years. Henderson has numerous local, state and national writing awards. He has been married to his wife, Elaine, for nearly 35 years and has two grown sons – Ben and Patrick.

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