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Wednesday, Jun 20, 2018
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Relative of Tampa’s Gonzmart family to become newest county judge

Gov. Rick Scott on Friday announced the appointment of Kim Hernandez Vance as the newest Hillsborough County Court judge.

The 53-year-old Vance -- an accountant-turned-lawyer -- is a Tampa native and a partner with the GrayRobinson law firm, according to a press release from Scott’s office. She focuses on commercial litigation.

Also of note: Her family is related to the Gonzmart family, which owns the Columbia Restaurant, and her paternal grandfather was once half-owner of the restaurant and a justice of the peace in Ybor City.

Vance began her legal career in 1997 with Tampa’s Rahdert, Anderson, McGowen & Steele firm.

She also served on the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council (2006-2013) and the Gulf Ridge Council Hispanic Outreach Committee (2007-2008).

Vance fills a vacancy created by the resignation of Judge James V. Dominguez.

She had been in the running for a circuit judge’s post in Hillsborough County. An opening was created when Chief Judge Manny Menendez decided to retire at his term’s end in January 2015.

“With many years of legal service in Hillsborough County, I am confident Kim will continue her dedicated service to Florida families on the county bench,” Scott said.

Vance got her bachelor’s degree from the University of West Florida and her law degree from Stetson University College of Law.