Plant City Chamber CEO to run for Hillsborough County Commission
Image via Plant City Chamber of Commerce

Screen Shot 2024-01-09 at 4.32.11 PM
'As a local businesswoman and conservative, I know that my neighbors and fellow residents expect their elected leader to produce results, not rhetoric.'

Christine Miller, the current President and CEO of the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce, is running for Hillsborough County Commission, District 6.

She is the third Republican to enter the race. One Democrat, Mark Nash, has also filed. The seat is currently held by Democrat Pat Kemp.

Kemp is facing term limits and cannot seek re-election to the countywide seat, but could run for a single-member district. Only districts 2 and 4 are up for election this year, both have incumbent Republicans seeking re-election.

In her announcement, Miller said she’s lived in Hillsborough County for more than 30 years and has watched the county change.

“As a local businesswoman and conservative, I know that my neighbors and fellow residents expect their elected leader to produce results, not rhetoric,” Miller said in a prepared statement. “And that’s exactly why I’m running, to work day and night to deliver results for every corner of our community.”

Miller filed for the race Monday.

As Chamber CEO, Miller works to promote commercial, industrial, agricultural and civic interests in Plant City and East Hillsborough County. She’s running to create a positive business climate and build on her experience promoting “economic prosperity through innovative leadership, advocacy, and collaborative community engagement,” according to her announcement.

Miller was part of the effort to establish the Plant City Partnership, which aligned the objectives of the Plant City Chamber, the Economic Development Corporation and Main Street.

She previously worked to overhaul the United Food Bank, exceeding her own personal goal of serving more than one million people in need.

“We have a tremendous amount of built in advantages over other areas of our state and other areas of the country,” Miller said.

“But to seize on the opportunities ahead requires leaders who have a proven record of putting their heads down and doing the work. To meet opportunities, head on, we need elected leaders who are work horses, not show ponies. That work starts today and I’m looking forward to the campaign ahead.”

Miller has an interesting resume, including some unique accolades. She won first place in Dancing with the Locals and was featured in a chapter of U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s book, “American Dreams.”

Miller serves on the Executive Board of the Florida Association of Chamber Professionals, on the group’s advocacy committee, and on the Student Affairs Development Council for Florida State University, the Plant City Economic Development Corporation Board, and Plant City Main Street Board (ex officio). She is a Leadership Plant City Alumni and serves on the Rotary Club Board.

Miller joins a crowded GOP Primary field in the race, against Jim Davison and Rico Smith. Both have already raised funds for their bids — Smith more than $47,000 and Davison just over $5,000.

Nash, who has run for County Commission unsuccessfully before, has raised more than $16,000 and is so far the only Democrat in the race. Former Hillsborough County Commissioner Mariella Smith, who was ousted from her position amid what was a statewide red wave in 2022, had filed for the seat but has since withdrawn.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected].


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