The beleaguered Hillsborough County property appraiser has some decidedly determined competition for the seat.
Sen. Ronda Storms, R-Valrico, announced Friday she was dropping out of her race for reelection to the state Senate so she can run for Hillsborough County property appraiser against incumbent Rob Turner, also a Republican.
Storms said she was motivated to run for the seat following reports that Turner sent dozens of pornographic e-mails to his human resources director.
"The current property appraiser has embarrassed the office, the party and himself," said Storms during a news conference Friday at the Supervisor of Elections Office, according to the Tampa Bay Times. "And I intend to restore professionalism and accountibility and integrity to the office."
However, Storms won't be Turner's only contender. Former Democratic state Rep. Bob Henriquez also announced Friday he plans to run for property appraiser, the Times reports. Previously, real estate broker James DeMio and Rob Townsend, who is running without party affiliation, filed to run for the seat.
Turner has been the Hillsborough County property appraiser for 16 years.
Storms said she couldn't, in good conscience, allow Turner to run unchallenged in light of the latest scandal.
"As I was reading about it, I became more and more appalled," Storms told the Times. "My first response was, 'That can't stand. We can't let that go unrebutted. Somebody has to step up.'"
Storms, a former teacher and longtime member of First Baptist Church of Brandon, was first elected to the state Senate in 2006 and was subsequently reelected.
Prior to her stint as a senator, Storms, who obtained her law degree from Stetson College of Law, was a Hillsborough County commissioner from 1998-2006.
It was there she gained a reputation for her outspoken and often-controversial views on everything from the banning displays of gay and lesbian books in the public libraries to the sterilization of people convicted of child abuse.