Weatherford endorses Higginbotham for Hillsborough Commission

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Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford is endorsing Hillsborough County Commissioner Al Higginbotham in his District 7 campaign.

Higginbotham currently represents District 4 on the Commission, but cannot run again due to term limits. The Republican activist is seeking to replace term-limited incumbent Mark Sharpe.

“Al Higginbotham has been tireless in his efforts to create a strong environment of economic development,” Weatherford said in a statement on Friday. “His leadership helped bring the cities of Tampa, Temple Terrace and Plant City together with Hillsborough County, to bring new jobs and companies to our area.

“Al’s personal story is one of hard work, dedication, perseverance and overcoming challenge and has been an inspiration to me. He is a man of the highest character and integrity and we can trust Al Higginbotham to do what’s right for Hillsborough County residents,” he added. “I am honored to call Al Higginbotham my friend and he has my strong support and endorsement.”

“I’m honored to have the support of Speaker Will Weatherford,” Higginbotham responded. “I’m grateful for his friendship and I appreciate his strong commitment and leadership on important issues including job creation, ethics reform and reducing the tax burden on Floridians.”

As well as serving as Chair and Chaplain of the Board of County Commissioners, Higginbotham was Chair of the region’s Environmental Protection Commission. His public service interests are primarily on agricultural, political and faith-based causes.

Higginbotham faces Republicans Don Kruse, Tim Schock and Robin Lester, as well as Democrats Mark Nash and Patricia Kemp. He has already received the GOP endorsements of former Gov. Jeb Bush and current Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.