Andrew Davis – Florida Politics

Hillsborough Commissioners hold big leads in re-election battles

February fundraising reports show the four sitting Hillsborough County Commissioners who’ll be on the ballot in 2018 are far ahead in fundraising for their respective races.

Commissioner Ken Hagan’s campaign account is the most flush of all, with more $458,000 in the bank, including $3,750 raised last month.

Hagan, a Republican, currently holds the countywide District 5 seat on the commission but faces term limits and is running instead for the District 2 seat in the fall.

Challengers Angela Birdsong, a Democrat, and Chris Paradies, a Republican, haven’t made much of an impact on the campaign trail compared to Hagan, though each brought in more than $2,000 last month.

After raising $2,896 and spending $973 in February, Paradies has about $15,000 on hand. Birdsong added $2,275 last month and spent $2,037 for an on-hand total of $1,563.

In the District 4 race, Commissioner Stacy White continued outgunning Democratic challenger Andrew Davis.

White raised $3,751 last month and spent nothing, leaving his campaign account with more than $125,000 heading into March.

Davis tacked on $515 and spent $86, putting him at about $1,800 on hand.

District 2 Commissioner Victor Crist faces a bit more of a challenge for the District 5 seat, which he’s looking to take over from Hagan.

He’s raised $77,905 so far this cycle, including $1,000 last month, and has a little over $60,000 in the bank.

His closest challenger, Democrat Mariella Smith, brought in $5,890 in February and has raised $45,713 since entering the contest in January.

She topped the eight-person field last month, with Democrat Mark Nash the only other candidate to top $1,000 in their new report. He has about $40,000 on hand.

Democrat Elvis Piggot took the third-place spot for the month with $900 raised, followed by Republican Angel Urbina Capo with $100 and Democrat Jamela Passmore with $95. Republican Timothy Curtis and write-in candidate George Nieman showed no money in their reports.

In the District 7 race Republican Commissioner Sandra Murman is lightyears ahead of her four challengers with nearly $155,000 on hand.

Murman currently holds the District 1 seat, but is switching over to the countywide district for 2018.

She added $4,900 last month and spent $1,950.

Her closest competitor, Democrat Kimberly Overman, showed $3,530 raised in her new report and has collected about $18,000 since she filed for the seat in August. She has $11,377 in the bank.

The reports trail off significantly after Overman. Democrat Sky White brought in $1,105 and has $2,549 on hand, followed by Republican Cherie Denham with $70 in February and $350 in the bank. Democrat Cory Reynolds and Republican Charles Davis have not posted any contributions since entering the race.

Democratic activist Andrew Davis wants seat on Hillsborough Co. Commission

Andrew Davis, an activist with the Hillsborough County Young Democrats, is running for County Commission District 4.

“I am proud and honored to announce my candidacy. As an active member of the community, I have seen the frustrations of the people of eastern Hillsborough County,” Davis, a 35-year-old from Gibsonton, announced Tuesday night.

Many consider District 4 the board’s most conservative region; Republican Stacy White has held the seat since the fall of 2014 and has raised more than $156,000 in his re-election bid.

Davis currently works in sales for a company selling electronic and computer components. He also serves as a precinct captain for the Hillsborough County Democratic Executive Committee and is a former public relations officer for the Hillsborough County Young Democrats.

“The primary role of any County Commissioner is to be an advocate for the people,” he said in a statement. “They should be a vital and active communications link between the people and the county. When I speak with my neighbors and other concerned members of this community, I understand their needs and desires.”

“They are concerned with urban sprawl as the area continues to be built up faster than the infrastructure can accommodate. They are worried about the job market. Retail stores and fast food restaurants are appearing at a rapid rate, yet new office buildings which would create higher paying jobs are not nearly as common. They are also concerned with transparency from local government as they feel elected officials do not listen to their own constituents.

“I have decided to run to give the people a true voice who will both listen to and address their concerns.”

In October, Davis said he was contemplating a run for District 4. He’s become the second Democrat to enter the contest, following Angel D’Angelo of Riverview, who joined the race last summer.

Hillsborough Young Democrat considers challenging Stacy White

Andrew Davis, a 35-year-old Gibsonton resident who resigned from his position as public relations officer with the Hillsborough County Young Democrats on Tuesday night, says he is exploring a challenge to Stacy White for the District 4 seat onthe Hillsborough County Commission.

“We often talk about our desire to help our county and improve such issues as the area’s job market, transportation, affordable housing, and dealing with the challenges that have come with the area’s population surge. I am feeling more and more that my time to help in an even bigger way may be now,” Davis told his colleagues with the Hillsborough Young Democrats Tuesday night.

Davis works as a salesman and also writes a food blog. Like many other Democrats in Hillsborough, he says that the summer-long battle regarding removing a Confederate monument was an important moment for him personally and for the community, as was the fact that he was listed in the so-called dossier of Confederate monument critics published by Save Southern Heritage, the leading advocacy group to maintain the statue in its place.

“It is my belief that anyone regardless of political ideology or party affiliation should be able to voice their opinions to their elected officials without fear of retribution against either themselves or members of their family,” Davis says about that incident. “This is of course also the same David McCallister who was named in August to our county’s Diversity Advisory Board in what I consider an appalling move.”

If Davis opts to challenge White, it will be a formidable contest in what is generally considered the county’s most conservative district.

White has raised more than $152,000 for his re-election race next year. The only other announced Democrat in the race, Angel D’Angelo, has raised just $355.

Angry Hillsborough Democrats have the opportunity next year to defeat all four Republicans who at one point or another voted to maintain the Confederate statue in front of the county courthouse this summer, but the big political question has been if they will be able to field competitive candidates to do so. The BOCC has leaned Republican for years, and all four incumbents — White, Sandy Murman, Victor Crist and Ken Hagan, have years, in some cases, many years of experience serving on the board, which helps them with name recognition.

An energized anti-Donald Trump Democratic wave could change that dynamic, though whether Democrats will remain as focused and as energized as they are now for another year remains unknown at this time.

Davis says he will make a final decision about whether he will run for the District 4 seat sometime after the holidays.

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