With Election Day approaching, I wanted to take a moment to read some tea leaves and render predictions.
Here are my projected winners for the Hillsborough County races (* = Incumbent):
Property Appraiser – Rob Turner (R)*
Tax Collector – Doug Belden (R)*
Supervisor of Elections – Phyllis Busansky (D)
County Commission – District 2 – Ken Hagan (R)*
County Commission – District 4 – Al Higgenbotham (R)*
County Commission – District 6 – Kevin Beckner (D)
School Board Member – District 7 – Stephen Gorham
Hillsborough County Charter Amendment – County Mayor Veto – Yes
Hillsborough County Referendum – ELAPP – Yes
City of Tampa Charter Amendment – City Council Attorney – Yes
Presidential Race – Barack Obama
I see some big surprises here in Hillsborough.
First, Kevin Beckner defeating incumbent Republican County Commissioner Brian Blair. Blair is the only Commissioner facing a Democratic opponent, and Beckner will feel the long coattails of Obama. These elections about about turnout, and the Democrats are wiping the GOP all-over the county.
Next, I see Phyllis Busansky beating Buddy Johnson. Of course, I said that as soon as she announced for the race. I’m not sure why we elect Supervisors of Election here in Florida, but given the rising Democratic tide and some negative (but totally irrelevant) reports about Johnson make this almost as much of a given as any race.
Finally, I see Gorham beating long-time incumbent Carol Kurdell on the School Board. Gorham will benefit from his bid for State Senate in 2006.
Regardless of whether these surprises happen or not, the returns will be interesting to watch on Tuesday night.