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Saturday, May 26, 2018
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Democrat Elizabeth Belcher Seeks District 2 Commission Seat

TAMPA — Democrat Elizabeth Belcher said she is a candidate for Hillsborough County Commission District 2, a seat now held by Republican Commissioner Victor Crist.

Belcher, who lives in Seffner, said her 27 years as a criminal investigator for the Internal Revenue Service is experience that is sorely needed on the commission.

“I follow the money,” Belcher said in an interview today. “Everybody in law enforcement says IRS investigators are the best financial investigators. That’s what the county needs.”

Belcher said issues she will bring up during the campaign include $6.2 million in county roadwork done to lure a Bass Pro Shops to Brandon, and a big box store the commission approved on Bloomingdale Avenue with little public notice.

“We cannot continue to give big box retailers $6.2 million for internal roads when we have gridlock everywhere else,” Belcher said.

In 2012, Belcher took on former state Senate President Tom Lee, a Republican, in the race for Senate District 24. Though she lost, Belcher managed to pull 46 percent of the vote in a shoestring campaign, and with little name recognition.

Crist was elected to the commission in 2010 after serving 18 years in the state Legislature. He fended off a tea party candidate in an open Republican primary in 2012 to hold onto his seat.

District 2 includes much of northern Hillsborough, including Lutz, Carrollwood and Thonotosassa.