Outgoing state Rep. Janet Cruz, D-Tampa, has filed for the District 1 Hillsborough County Commission seat expected to be vacated soon by Commissioner Sandy Murman.
The move sets up a primary battle between Cruz and Tampa City Council member Yolie Capin, who has already filed for the seat.
The only Republican filed in the race so far is Aakash Patel, but others including lawyer Todd Marks have been considering it.
The race is likely to draw other candidates because as things stand now, it will be the only open seat on the board in 2018 with no incumbent running. Commissioners Murman, Ken Hagan and Victor Crist are all running for new seats.
The primary is likely to be a tough fight.
Both Cruz, who is minority leader in the state House, and Capin have well-known names in Tampa Democratic politics. Cruz’s state House District 62 overlaps much of the commission district. The commission district also includes large portions of the city of Tampa, where Capin is a citywide council member.
Capin, Cruz and Patel have all filed for the seat in 2020, the year it’s technically coming open as Murman reaches her term limit. But Murman has announced she will resign, leaving the seat open, to run for a countywide seat in 2018.