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Ronda Storms

It’s the end of the road for the Hillsborough Public Transportation Commission

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Legislation that would effectively kill the controversial Hillsborough Public Transportation Commission (HB 647) passed in the Florida House on Thursday. The bill, sponsored by Tampa Bay Republican Jamie Grant, was first introduced as a local bill at the Hillsborough County Legislative Delegation meeting last December. Although the PTC has reaped a slew of negative news stories over the past three years in its attempts to regulate ridesharing companies Uber and Lyft in Hillsborough County, widespread antipathy to the organization goes back years, if…

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Joe Henderson: Kevin Beckner made a difference, which should never be forgotten

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All politicians start out by saying how they want to make a difference. Well, Kevin Beckner did. His now-former colleagues at the Hillsborough County Commission acknowledged that Wednesday during his final meeting as a member of the board. He is leaving because of term limits after serving eight years. Yes, Beckner was the first openly gay man to serve on the commission, which by itself was highly significant given that just a decade ago Hillsborough banned any recognition of gay…

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What to make of House candidate Jackie Toledo?

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Jackie Toledo, the oft-controversial Republican running for Florida House District 60, has a major fundraiser planned for Tuesday. And while the invitation for the event is studded with dozens of local Republican heavyweights, I’m still not sure what to make of Toledo. Is she, as I want to believe, the latest in a line of Hillsborough Republican female pols who were initially underestimated by their critics and the media (think Sandy Murman during her stint in the Florida House)? Or…

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This Hillsborough County Appraiser race is going to be interesting

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There are certain local political offices in Hillsborough County where, absent a scandal, the incumbent is likely to win re-election. Twenty years ago, Democratic Property Appraiser Ron Alderman was vulnerable after being the subject of a series of investigations. He lost that year to Republican Rob Turner. Sixteen years later, Turner was seemingly cruising to another four-year term in office when he was rocked by a scandal involving pornography emails he issued in office. It led to his demise, as fellow Republican Ronda Storms ultimately crushed him in…

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Todd Jones is coming after Bob Henriquez in Hillsborough Property Tax Appraiser contest

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Todd Jones‘ credentials as a tax appraiser are impressive, even to the average voter who doesn’t usually keep up on such things. The 58-year-old South Tampa Republican isn’t modest in describing his skills, saying flatly, “I am without a doubt the most qualified appraiser in the state when it comes to property tax evaluation issues.” Whether that makes him the man who can usurp Democratic incumbent Bob Henriquez in the Hillsborough County Tax Appraisers race will be decided by voters this November. “Certainly on paper…

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Democrat Andrew Warren announces bid for State Attorney in Hillsborough County

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Andrew Warren, a Gainesville native and former Justice Department attorney has announced his bid to run for State Attorney in the 13th judicial district, which encompasses Hillsborough County. “I’ve been talking with community leaders, friends, and family about how I can best continue to serve and where we can do better for Hillsborough,” the 39-year-old Democrat said in a statement sent to SPB on Tuesday. “As my daughters grow up, I know firsthand that every family deserves a safe place…

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Jim Norman speaks: The former Hillsborough county commissioner is plotting a comeback

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Former Hillsborough County Commissioner and state Sen. Jim Norman wants you to know one thing — that everything you thought you knew about what happened to him in 2010 is wrong. “The media put a message out there that is just inaccurate, and I’m really burned about that, so I’m pretty fired up with setting the record straight,” he said in an interview conducted earlier this week. In case you’ve forgotten or weren’t around five years ago, “the message” that Norman says…

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