Former Candidate Talks 2014 Politics at Brandon Chamber Dinner
Mark Nash talked about his future plans as the 2014 election gains interest among those with tenure on the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners, Hillsborough County School Board and Tampa City Council.
Mark Nash never thought it would be easy, his unsuccessful bid to replace Al Higginbotham in the District 4 seat of the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners.
“I knew that I chose a tall hill to climb, there were no ifs, ands or buts about it,” Nash said Friday night, at the Feb. 1 membership dinner hosted by the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce at The Regent in Riverview. “But people saw how passionate I was, how I believe we need to be smarter about what we do out here [in the Greater Brandon area] and throughout the entire county.”
Higginbotham, a Republican, returned to his District 4 seat after a successful run against Nash, a Democrat, and Joy Green, who ran with no party affiliation.
Next up for Nash is an assessment of his options, which include another run for the District 4 seat, which Higginbotham has to vacate because of term limits, or a run for the District 7 at-large seat, which Mark Sharpe has to vacate for the same eight-year limit.
Also up for grabs in the next election cycle will be the District 2 seat held by Victor Crist and the District 5 seat held by Ken Hagan.
Hagan, who attended the chamber dinner, and with Higginbotham presented a commissioners’ commendation to the business group, has served on the board since 2002. His tenure lives beyond the eight-year term limit because he switched seats, which is what Higginbotham intends to do by running for Sharpe’s at-large seat in 2014.
Higginbotham said it’s “important to let people know your intentions,” in explaining his early declaration for the District 7 seat, according to a Tampa Bay Times report. The post notes as well for the seat, the interest of Tampa City Council member Mary Mulhern, a Democrat; Hillsborough County School Board member April Griffin, a Democrat; and former Tampa City Council member and county commissioner Tom Scott, a Democrat.
Nash’s roots run deep.
“I’m a Florida boy,” he said. “My family settled in the county more than 150 years ago, so it matters to me what we do here and how we move forward.”
Nash called Commissioner Kevin Beckner “the shining star” on the current board of commissioners, noting what he said is Beckner’s advocacy for quality of life issues, including transportation, growth management, a clean environment and bringing jobs to the community.
In 2010, Nash ran the campaign for former Tampa City Council member Linda Saul Sena, who ran for the District 5 at-large seat currently held by Hagan.
As for his future plans, Nash said he is not adverse to considering running another candidate’s campaign.
“I’m not a particularly big fan of our governor,” Nash said. “If there is an opportunity for me to support somebody against [Gov. Rick Scott] in 2014, that might excite me as well.”