With Al Higginbotham opting not to run for re-election next year, there is a rare open seat on the Hillsborough County Commission.
Several Democrats have already entered the contest, including 28-year-old Riverview resident Angel D’Angelo.
“I believe we just need your regular working class average Joe taking hold of these seats,” says D’Angelo, who is a recruiter for a retail service provider.
D’Angelo mentions transit as an issue he believes he will be talking about once he begins campaigning in earnest, but he also says that he plans to build a platform around what the community tells him it is interested in, “because that’s really how it should be.”
He says he’s in the process of setting up a campaign bank account, and because it’s all new to him, he intends on reviewing an elections handbook to make sure he has a solid understand of everything required to be a candidate in Hillsborough County.
“My purpose is to listen to folks who are in what I call forgotten neighborhoods in Hillsborough County,” he says. “These are the neighborhoods that typically have your low-income people of color, like the housing authorities or Progress Village, where I lived for a few years.”
“These voices are typically not heard,” he says. “Understanding their concerns are usually not brought into it because typically they’re not your folks who can fundraise. So a lot of politicians kind of snub them.”
D’Angelo is one of three Democrats who have entered the race – none with any electoral experience. The other two are Charles Davis III and Sky U. White.
Sandy Murman, a Republican who was just elected to a four-year term after defeating Democrat Jeff Zampitela in District One last November, announced earlier this year that she would leave the seat next year to vie for another four (and possibly eight) years on the board, this time serving in the countywide District 7 seat.