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Tim Schock considering entering Hillsborough County Commission District 6 race

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Although there is lots of chatter about Jim Norman entering the race for the Hillsborough County Commission District 6 seat, as of now, there is only one Republican who has entered the race (Thomas Avino).

Meanwhile, Democrats Brian Willis and Pat Kemp have been campaigning for months, and were recently joined by former commissioner and Tampa City Councilman Tom Scott.

Tim Schock could be that first Republican to enter the contest. The 42-year-old resident of Tampa’s Beach Park is the president of Lightning Capital Consulting, which provides consulting and strategic planning to clients in a variety of industries, including transportation, high tech, mobile communication and financial services. He ran for office for the first time in 2014, losing to Al Higginbotham in the Republican primary for the countywide District 7 seat.

“I am considering it,” Schock says about getting into the District 6 race. “I’ve been testing the waters the last couple of months, meeting with grassroots folks, party folks, contributors and supporters.”

Schock says he may make his decision before the end of summer. He’s not ready to commit to anything just yet, due to dealing with a family member’s health issue  that has keep him busier than usual in recent weeks.

Although Norman left politics three years ago under a cloud of suspicion regarding his failure to disclose a vacation home in Arkansas, he says he is being greeted with positive vibes from most parts of the community that he served for two decades in the county and Tallahassee, and says he’ll win if he enters the contest.

Schock says if he gets into the race, he won’t be the anti-Norman.

“I know there are folks looking for someone to challenge him, that’s not really why I would run,” he says. “From what I’ve heard and what the folks that I’ve spoken with a bunch of people may run in the Republican primary, I wouldn’t get in the race if I didn’t think it was winnable.”

Schock was badly outspent by Al Higginbotham in the GOP District 7 race last summer. In retrospect, he believes he entered the contest too late, and knows his lack of sufficient fundraising hurt him. But he says he does believe a Republican can win the District 6 race next year, even in a presidential year, which typically brings out more Democratic Party members to vote in Florida.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at [email protected]

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