Brian Blair won't run for Hillsborough County Commission next year

Since losing to Beckner in '08, Blair's had somewhat of a rocky road. Instead of manning up and accepting his loss, he sued Beckner, claiming that his opponent had made false allegations about his record in campaign ads and mailers and exposed him to "hatred, contempt" and "ridicule."

But a judge last year ruled that he had no case, and threw out his lawsuit.

A couple of incidents with his family also made headlines in 2009 and 2010, and in August of last year he lost a GOP primary in House District 47 to Jamie Grant.

After that election loss, he then became involved in the successful effort to oppose the transit tax in Hillsborough County that would have brought a light rail system to the region

Iuculano is the founder and current CEO of Angels for Foster Kids, Inc. and had ran a rather low-key, nondescript campaign until she unleashed a bomb in the form of a fundraising letter to "fellow conservatives" that, among other things, accused Beckner of employing an "ultra-liberal San Francisco-style agenda," on the BOCC.

Beckner, who is openly gay, responded that the letter was "another another example of how radical, political extremists use fear-based fiction to divide communities."

Iuculano is running against Steve Cona for the GOP nomination in District six, with the winner to face Beckner a year from today. Cona is the CEO for the Florida Gulf Coast Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors. UPDATE: Cona responded to CL's request for comment today by saying, ""We are not concerned about Brian Blair's endorsement of Margaret's campaign. We are, however, honored to have the endorsement of over 125 Hillsborough County residents and small businesses who have pledged their time, effort and hard earned money in support of our campaign."

Brian Blair
  • Brian Blair

Former Hillsborough County Commissioner and professional wrestler Brian Blair ended speculation this afternoon that he would attempt to revisit his 2008 race against Kevin Beckner by announcing that he will not be a candidate next year, and instead is endorsing Margaret Iucalano in the GOP district six race in 2012.

In a press release, Blair says that he has given "serious thought" to running again for the district wide seat he lost in a bitterly contested race in '08. But at the end of the day, he's opting to support Iuculano, who made news recently with a vitriolic fundraising letter where she accused Beckner of trying to bring a "San Francisco liberal" style of government to Hillsborough County.

Blair said that "Margaret has a compelling personal story and her family values, coupled with hands on business experience, make her the type of leader I believe would best serve the important interests of our citizens on the Board of County Commissioners.”

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