Brian Blair declares candidacy for State House listen08/17/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday | Listen to this entire show:
Former Hillsborough County Commissioner Brian Blair announced today that he will try to resurrect his political career by running for a seat in the State House next year.
In a press release, Blair announced he is a candidate in the Republican Primary in House District 47, which encompasses northwest Hillsborough County, including Carrollwood.
The race to succeed term-limited Republican Kevin Ambler is quickly becoming a crowded field. Former Verizon executive Irene Guy has announced plans for the seat, as have Richard Reidy, an aide to County Commissioner Ken Hagen, and Tom Aderhold.
Blair lost his bid for re-election to the Hillsborough County Commission last November to Democrat Kevin Beckner. In the aftermath of that sometimes bitter campaign, Blair sued Beckner, claiming that he made false accusations against him in the campaign. Beckner has filed a claim to have the case thrown out. When asked about that, Blair questioned the local media in not scrutinizing Becknerâ€™s selection of attorneys in the case.
Blair will also go before an Administrative Law Judge next month to deal with charges that he accepted illegal campaign contributions in his bid for re-election.
Like most of his fellow Republicans on the Hillsborough County Commission, Blair has always emphasized tax cuts and running a lean government.
Blair has hardly been quiet in the 10 months since he was booted out of office by Hillsborough voters. He spoke in public at a Tea Party protest against government spending on Tax Day, April 15th in Tampa. And he says he embraces some of those same citizens who have been protesting health care reform proposals supported by President Obama and Congressional Democrats.
Last month, Hillsborough County prosecutors dropped child abuse charges against Blair. He was arrested in June and charged with two counts of child abuse after a scuffle broke out between him and his two teenage sons, but authorities later said that his 17 year old Brett was the aggressor.