Several incumbents running in Hillsborough waste no time qualifying

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Though qualifying for elected officials seeking reelection runs through noon Friday, Monday several Hillsborough County leaders were already listed as qualified at the end of the workday. This marks the first day candidates for office can officially launch their campaigns.

Republicans Sheriff David Gee and Tax Collector Doug Belden and Democrat Clerk of the Circuit Court Pat Frank, each submitted their paperwork to the Supervisor of Elections Office. Speaking of Supervisor of Election – Democrat Craig Latimer also qualified, and he is seeking to replace Earl Lennard who is retiring as supervisor of elections.

A couple of Hillsborough County Commissioners have qualified, too – Democrats Kevin Beckner and Les Miller.

Among those not showing up as qualified, there is one noted incumbent, Hillsborough County Property Appraiser, Republican Rob Turner. Turner, who is now known for sending porn to his human resources director who is also his ex-girlfriend and whom he fired before the news came out about the whole ordeal—well, he’s facing significant opposition.

Yet, none of these opponents have qualified either. These declared opponents include state Sen. Ronda Storms and former state Rep. Bob Henriquez.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.