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Scionti, Vance to run for judgeship

Posted Jun 6, 2013 by William March

Updated Jun 6, 2013 at 04:30 PM

Former state House member and military lawyer Michael Scionti will square off against private practice lawyer and Tampa native Kim Hernandez Vance for a circuit judge’s post in Hillsborough County next year.

The two are running to replace chief Judge Manny Menendez, who will retire when his term ends in January 2015.

Scionti, 44, is the son of the late Mike Scionti, a long-time Democratic Party activist and former chairman of the county Democratic Party.

The younger Scionti is a former state prosecutor and U.S. Army military magistrate.

A graduate of Florida State University and the South Texas College of Law, he served in the state House from 2006-09. He was deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2003-08, presiding over hearings for prisoners of war and suspected insurgents.

In 2009 Scionti accepted Obama administration appointments first in the Defense Department and then in the State Department in Afghanistan. He returned to Tampa in March.

Scionti’s wife Zsuzsanna is in medical school at the University of Central Florida and plans to practice pediatric medicine in Tampa.

Vance, a graduate of the University of West Florida and Stetson College of Law, is a commercial litigation attorney in Tampa with the large Gray Robinson law firm.

Also a certified public accountant, she worked in accounting, including serving as an internal auditor at Barnett Bank, before becoming a lawyer.

Vance has an extensive family history in Tampa. Her family is related to the Gonzmart family which owns the Columbia Restaurant, and her paternal grandfather was once half-owner of the restaurant and a justice of the peace in Ybor City.

She’s married to John Vance and has two sons.

The race is non-partisan. Scionti said he has been endorsed by Sheriff David Gee, State Attorney Mark Ober and Tax Collector Doug Belden, all Republicans; and Julieanne Holt and Mayor Bob Buckhorn, both Democrats.

 

 

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