Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner has been working hard on his re-election bid for 2012 for awhile, and from the number of GOP entrants who want to remove him from his District six seat next year, he can't start soon enough.
Brad Faircloth, Margaret Iuculano and Steve Cona have all filed to run the Republican primary opposing Beckner seat next year. CL hopes to speak with Faircloth and Iuculano soon, but met up last Friday afternoon with the 37-year-old Cona, a 5th generation local resident who is is the chief operating officer with the Florida Gulf Coast Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.
His organization represents some 400 companies that employ tens of thousands of people, and their endorsement carries some weight. Cona says it was as a member of his board conducting interviews with candidates over the past few years that the idea came to him that his organization should begin grooming candidates. But when nobody really stood out he thought, why not himself?
He believes Beckner has been "very moderate," since he was elected to the board back in 2008, and says his reason for running against him has more to do with the fact that the District 6 seat is the only countywide office that is up for a vote in 2012 than any particular mission to knock out one of the two Democrats on the board (the other is Les Miller).
But he does take issue with an effort that Beckner championed last month - a bid by some members of the Hillsborough Latino community to have the board of county commissioners back a plan to redraw District One to make it more of a "Hispanic" seat (that effort would have pushed that demographic up to 36 percent of the area).