Monday, October 4, 2021
CHASE HARRISON ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY FOR HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY COMMISSION 7th DISTRICT REPUBLICAN NOMINATION
TAMPA – Chase Harrison, retired U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant and Tampa Police Officer, today announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for the Hillsborough County Commission District 7 seat currently held by liberal Democrat Kimberly Overman.
Harrison, who also is a commercial pilot and small businessman, will focus on protecting freedoms by advocating personal responsibility instead of government mandates and intrusion, cutting taxes and spending what is raised wisely, and by fostering real unity to get things done in Hillsborough County.
Harrison, who served 20 years in the military and more than a decade in law enforcement with the Tampa Police Department, said, “I've spent most of my adult life in public service by preserving your freedoms during my career in Air Force Intelligence and by protecting you, your family and your property as a Tampa police officer patrolling our streets to keep you safe.”
“I can't stand by on the sidelines while our County Commission, particularly Overman, and our School Board are mandating masks when it is a matter of personal responsibility and choice.”
“I am vaccinated because I believe in the science. Actual data comparing Florida and California shows that mandatory masks and shutdowns did nothing to mitigate the infection rates per capita, and that both the infection rates and deaths among children are very low compared to other age groups.”
“Overman not only wants mask mandates, but even advocated for having businesses donate lanyards to schools to put tags on children whose parents chose to opt out of masking their kids. Such a stupid policy would lead to those students being shunned or bullied by those wearing masks, when Overman isn't even a member of the School Board...Yet she preaches unity.” Harrison scoffed.
On taxes and spending, Harrison vows to stop the Transit Tax for light rail that Overman wants to put on the ballot again after the Florida Supreme Court ruled it to be unconstitutional. He also proposes a Tax Moratorium until all revenues collected under that provision have been liquidated.
“The burdensome and ridiculous plan that Overman and the other liberal Commissioners proposed that requires citizens to submit stacks of receipts and paperwork to a panel that would determine whether or not each case is deemed 'worthy' of refunding OUR MONEY that was unlawfully raised in the first place is absurd on its face,” Harrison said..
“Furthermore, the original 'Transit Tax' did not provide a single dime for repairing or widening existing roads, which is desperately needed as more and more people move to Hillsborough County every day. Instead, Overman and the liberals wanted to fund a light rail system from USF to Ybor City and to the Westshore area of Tampa when there are no satellite parking areas available to accommodate commuters who might use it. Thus, unless a person lives within walking distance of the rail line, it is not a viable option to get to work or to other areas of town.”
“Most important,” Harrison emphasized, “is that taxpayers in Plant City, Citrus Park, Brandon, Riverview, Apollo Beach, Ruskin, Sun City Center and Wimauma are paying for a rail service that benefits Tampa – and ONLY Tampa – while their roads become more clogged, pothole pocked and neglected.”
“If the City of Tampa wants a light rail system, let the Tampa City Council figure out how to fund it. County residents should not have to pay for a boondoggle project that does not serve them in any way when the money could be better spent on widening and improving our roads throughout the County to accommodate the ever present growth that has occurred for decades and will continue well into our future,” Harrison stated.
“We need to plan better and anticipate the growth in our County based on the data and trends we can see now and prepare proactively for it as opposed to reacting to it with projects that will be obsolete by the time they are completed. That approach has failed us thus far and will not work moving forward,” he added.
“Finally, I want to foster real unity of purpose and progress where freedom from government burdens, excessive taxes and regulations will allow businesses to thrive, grow and provide jobs to lift those in need out of poverty and provide opportunities for all to live the American Dream here in Hillsborough County.”
“Liberals like Overman provide lip service to unity by preaching 'Tolerance,' but ONLY if you agree with their big government, big taxes and spending and government control or your lives and decisions. They don't 'Tolerate' any disagreement, and to combat other viewpoints, they label it as a 'phobia' or being extreme through virtue signaling to actually divide us.”
“I am running because the future of our County is at stake and the decisions the County Commission are making now will have a huge impact on what our County looks like 20 years from now. We must tax for what is necessary, quit wasting money on bloated administrative bureaucracy, and spend what we do raise wisely in the areas of greatest need to help our County to anticipate and prepare to handle the inevitable growth that will continue to come.”
“It's THAT important,” Harrison concluded.
From a young boy Harrison's destiny was for public service.
Republicans Chase Harrison and Josh Wostal have filed to run against Overman, a Democrat, in her District 7 countywide commission seat.Listen02:13154211
Kimberley Overman checks election results during a watch party in 2018, when she won the countywide District 7 commission seat. [ Times (2018) ]
By William MarchPublished Oct. 29
A Republican primary battle is developing to challenge Democratic Hillsborough County Commissioner Kimberley Overman.
Chase Harrison, a retired Air Force intelligence analyst and Tampa Police Department pilot, has filed as expected in the race, and Overman, according to a campaign email to supporters, seems to consider him her most likely challenger — she referred to him as “our Republican opponent, Chase Harrison” in a recent mailer.
That’s despite the presence in the race of Republican Josh Wostal, a Navy veteran and UPS store owner, who filed in February.
Around the same time Harrison filed, Wostal loaned $40,000 of his personal money to his campaign, following previous contributions of $3,000 from himself and his business.
Wostal had raised a total of $53,166 as of September, but $51,000 of it came from Wostal and Larry Sutton, a man he describes as a personal friend from his days in the service. Sutton gave maximum contributions of $1,000 each from himself and seven businesses he controls.
Wostal said as a candidate running to represent “blue-collar, working class people,” he doesn’t have access to big donors.
Harrison hasn’t yet filed a fundraising report.
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, a former police chief who worked with Harrison, spoke favorably of him in a Log Cabin Republican Club meeting Oct. 19, leading Wostal to charge on Facebook that Castor, a Democrat, “just endorsed my opponent.”
In an email, Castor clarified: “I have the deepest respect for Chase Harrison’s many years of service to the community as a police officer, but I have endorsed Kimberly Overman because of her dedication to the people of Hillsborough County and leadership on the county commission.”
Overman had raised $45,806 as of September but said she hasn’t started fundraising in earnest yet. She plans a kickoff event Nov. 9.
She may be a tough nut for either Republican to crack in a county that has been trending blue — she won her countywide seat in 2018 by 9 points despite being outspent by Republican Todd Marks.
Her mailer said Harrison was “a DeSantis copycat,” and the headline was, “Don’t DeSantis my Hillsborough.”