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April Griffin to host campaign kickoff in Ybor City

Griffin is running for Hillsborough County Tax Collector.

Former Hillsborough County School Board Member April Griffin is officially launching her campaign for Hillsborough County Tax Collector Thursday at the Cuban Club in Ybor City.

The party will be from 5:30 until 7:30 at the historic venue at 2010 N. Avenida Rebublica de Cuba.

Griffin filed to run for the seat being vacated by current Tax Collector Doug Belden about two months ago. Since filing, Griffin’s fundraising momentum has been sluggish.

Campaign kickoffs are typically a campaign’s first push to aggressively raise funds, indicating future financial reports might show higher campaign earnings.

Griffin has already earned support from several members of the community including her former colleagues on the School Board, now Rep. Susan Valdes, Cindy Stuart and Sally Harris. She also has support from Tampa lawyer Ron Christaldi whose deep business roots could boost Griffin’s fundraising potential and from a former opponent, Dipa Shah.

Griffin’s host committee for the kickoff includes Valdes, Harris, Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp, Tampa City Council members Bill Carlson, John Dingfelder and Guido Maniscalco, Hillsborough County School Board Members Stuart and Karen Perez, Hillsborough County Schools Superintendent Jeff Eakins, former Hillsborough County Commissioner Ed Turanchik, former Temple Terrace Mayor Joe Affronti and former Tampa City Council members Yolie Capin and Mike Suarez.

Several active members of the community are also serving on the committee including Erin Aebel, Anthony Chicklowski, Christaldi, Jonathan Ellis, Charles Fletcher, Albert and Anne Fox, Delia DeCaprio Gadson, Alma Gonzalez, Dallas and Tye Griffin, Vipul Kabaria and Harsha Kabaria, Dotti Groover-Skipper, Corie Holmes, Mike Mezrah, Rebekah Nault, Keto Nord, Jane Ramos, Jodi and Rob Ray, Tom Scaglione, Dipa Shah, and Lindsey and Sam Shah.

Griffin served 12 years on the Hillsborough County School Board. She says she’s running to provide a first-class customer service experience with the Tax Collector’s Office, which oversees driver’s licenses, gun permits and hunting and fishing licenses.

She plans to use emerging and innovative technologies to deliver better customer services.

Griffin faces fellow Democrat Nancy Millan in the primary election. TK Mathew is running for the Republican nomination.

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Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a die-hard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and contentious issues surrounding transit. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also a devoted wife and mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder.

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