Reporter William March has covered state and national politics since 1994. Email
Reporter Mike Salinero has covered Hillsborough County government since 2007. Email
Reporter James L. Rosica covers state government from the Tribune's Tallahassee bureau. Email
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Ober backs Lee
Posted Jun 27, 2012 by William March
Updated Jun 27, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Hillsborough County State Attorney Mark Ober is the most recent Republican leader to endorse Tom Lee in the east Hillsborough state Senate race.
Lee, a former state Senate president, is clearly dominating the race in terms of endorsements from local and state big-name Republicans, while his GOP primary opponent, state Rep. Rachel Burgin, is portraying the race as “grass roots-vs.-establishment” contest.
They’re running to replace state Sen. Ronda Storms, who is leaving the seat open to run for county property appraiser.
Lee’s others backers include two state Cabinet members, Attorney General Pam Bondi and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater; two Congress members, Gus Bilirakis and Dennis Ross; Sheriff David Gee and Tax Collector Doug Belden; county commissioners Ken Hagan, Al Higginbotham, Sandy Murman and Mark Sharpe; former Plant City Mayor Dan Raulerson; the next two state Senate presidents, Don Gaetz and Andy Gardiner; and former Gov. Bob Martinez.
Burgin has said she’ll answer all that support from prominent Republicans with canvassing and word-of-mouth campaigning by her network of church and home-school movement allies and family connections.