County Commissioner Mark Sharpe announces bid for Congress in 2012 listen08/15/11 Janelle Irwin
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Hillsborough County Commissioner Mark Sharpe announced he will run against Democratic incumbent Kathy Castor in the 2012 bid for Congress. Sharpe told reporters today he felt obligated to help the nation in a time of crisis.
That was County Commissioner Mark Sharpeâ€™s big announcement in a little coffee shop. He stood on a platform in the middle of Buddy Brew coffee on Kennedy Boulevard in Tampa as he told about a dozen members of the media why he wants to run for congress for a fourth time.
Sharpe ran unsuccessfully in 1992, 94 and 96. He won a seat on the Hillsborough County Commission in 2004 and has held the position since. Sharpe said he plans to stay on as County Commissioner through the primary. Current laws do not require him to resign from his current position. Sharpe said he will continue to work hard for residents throughout the campaign process.
One potential hiccup for Sharpe is the large number of Democratic voters within current district boundaries. It is not certain whether upcoming redistricting will benefit Sharpe who is a self-proclaimed conservative candidate. His bid for Congress, he said, is not contingent on the results of redistricting.
During his announcement, Sharpe said he believes voters are fed up with politicians. He said he has voted controversially before and will continue to do so if it is the right thing for the country. The potential threats associated with crossing party lines, he said, donâ€™t apply to him because he doesnâ€™t want to be a career politician.
Sharpe also told reporters he wants to run a clean and respectful campaign.
Incumbent Kathy Castor said she wonâ€™t be hitting the campaign trail anytime soon regardless of what happens with redistricting. She said she will continue to be a voice in Washington where the special interests are still very much in charge.
Castor added that her priorities in Congress will remain the same regardless of redistricting or who she faces in the next election.