PUBLISHED JULY 28, 2016
By LOIS KINDLE
If you’d like to actually meet the candidates running for local office this year, you’ll get your chance on Aug. 2, when the Sun City Center Area Chamber of Commerce hosts Eggs & Issues. Twenty-six men and women seeking your vote in the primary and general elections will be on hand.
“Everyone running for local office in Hillsborough County with the exception of school board candidate Randy Toler will be here,” said Dana Dittmar, chamber CEO. “And we also have three candidates running for state office coming.”
According to Dittmar, the event is a casual affair.
“Several chamber members are furnishing breakfast, and residents can drop in and drop out anytime between 8 and 10 a.m.,” she said. “There won’t be any speeches. It’s simply a meet-and-greet. Each candidate will have their own table, where everyone can say hello, ask questions and say what’s on their minds.
Here’s a rundown of the candidates who RSVP’d:
Dwight Young (R)
Vern Buchanan (R)
Brent King (D)
Clerk of the Circuit Court
Kevin Beckner (D)
Pat Frank (D)
County Commission Dist. 6
John Dicks (D)
Pat Kemp (D)
Jim Norman (R)
Thomas Scott (D)
Tim Schock (R)
Brian Willis (D)
Circuit Court Group 3
Circuit Court Group 24
Isabel “Cissy” Sevlin
County Court Group 10
Catherine “Cathy” James
Many of these names are probably unfamiliar to area residents — that’s why the chamber is hosting Eggs & Issues.
“Most people focus on national candidates and fail to realize the ramifications of failing to pay attention to local elections,” Dittmar said. “It’s our local politicians who have the greatest impact on our day-to-day lives.”
Sun City Center resident Dee Williams, who’s voted in every election since 1950 unless she was physically unable, wholeheartedly agrees. She will definitely be at Eggs & Issues.
“People shouldn’t go into a voting booth uninformed and either leave the ballot blank or vote for the first person’s name they see,” she said. “This year, for example, we have seven at-large candidates for the school district, and there will be those who will walk in and vote for the candidate who has the most placards outside.
“That’s no way to exercise our democratic privilege,” she said.
The upcoming primary election is set for Tuesday, Aug. 30. The deadline for registration is Aug. 1, and early voting will take place Aug. 15 to 28.
The general election will be Tuesday, Nov. 8. The registration deadline is Oct. 11, and early voting will take place from Oct. 24 to Nov. 6.
For additional information on voting, visit www.votehillsborough.org and for more information on Eggs & Issues, call the chamber 813-634-5111.