By Matt Wiley

Our very own Florida House District 60 Representative Shawn Harrison (R-New Tampa) knows who he wants to see represent eastern Hillsborough County — which includes the New Tampa area — in the Florida Senate in the next legislative session.

Rep. Harrison recently endorsed fellow Republican Tom Lee to represent District 24, which encompasses most of the eastern section of Hillsborough County, including all of Tampa Palms and New Tampa, all the way north to the Pasco County line.

“An experienced and strong Senator representing Hillsborough County in the State Senate will be a great thing for our community and for my constituents,” says Harrison. “I have known Senator Lee since my days on the Tampa City Council. I believe his private-sector business experience and his conservative record make him the best choice in this race. I endorse him and look forward to working alongside him as fellow members of the Hillsborough County [legislative] delegation.”

Lee previously served for ten years in the Florida Senate and was Senate President in 2005-06, and it is this experience, along with his private sector business experience, that earned him Harrison’s endorsement.

“Tom’s business background (as Vice President of Sabal Homes, his family’s business) is key,” he says. “He has experience as an elected official, but first and foremost, he has worked in the private sector. His ‘real-world’ business experience sets him apart from the competition and that’s what we need.”

Harrison’s name also will be on the ballot in November, as he is running unopposed for the Republication nomination for re-election to the Florida House. Harrison has two Democratic opponents who square off against each other in the Primary Election on Tuesday, August 14. The former Tampa Palms Community Development District chair, District 7 (which includes all of New Tampa) Tampa City Council member and current District 60 Representative has been representing most of New Tampa in the Florida House since 2010.

If elected, he will be the first representative of the newly drawn State House District 63, to which all of New Tampa now belongs, after Florida’s newly rewritten legislative maps were approved by Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Supreme Court this year.

“I do miss the days when I would only be up for re-election every four years (in City Council),” Harrison says. “But, I’m happy with how my campaign is going so far. There is a larger Democratic presence in my new District, but I’ve worked really hard the last 15 years as an elected official, both as a member of the City Council and as a State Representative, and I think people will recognize that.”

Harrison says that for now, he and his campaign team are going to begin “walking and knocking,” going door-to-door to introduce Harrison to voters, let them know what issues he represents and why he should be re-elected to represent New Tampa in the Florida legislature for another term.

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