Kevin Ambler - Senate 12, Republican
St. Petersburg Times / tampabay.com 8/6/2010
Republicans should ignore the phony distinctions being tossed around about which candidate is more conservative. They should focus on who is able to tackle serious issues, from jobs and taxes to property insurance. Rep. Kevin Ambler has a stronger record of thinking on his own and conducting public business in a transparent way.
Ambler, 49, a Tampa attorney, was a solidly conservative voice in his eight years representing the greater Carrollwood area in the Florida House. The former federal prosecutor and judge advocate for the Air Force has a good grasp of statewide policy. He has sensible proposals for cutting the size of government, targeting tax incentives to attract high-paying jobs and improving the quality of teachers. Ambler would subject property insurers to much more rigorous review before they could raise rates, a key concern for a district that is highly vulnerable to hurricane and sinkhole damage.
Jim Norman, 56, has served on the Hillsborough County Commission for 18 years, where his causes were parks and youth sports .Norman started out as a moderate voice. But he later championed the interests of developers. Norman was slow to see the recession and has no real plan to jump-start the recovery. He can be pushy and a sore loser, the last thing Tallahassee needs. And he has shown a secretive streak in his public and private business that raises questions about his ethics and judgment.
Ambler has embraced the party line too often. But with few policy differences between the two, the choice boils down to who is most capable of moving the district and state forward. This Hills- borough-Pasco district, which includes Carrollwood, Lutz, Land O' Lakes and Dade City, needs a senator who can hit the ground running and compete for the region's fair share of resources.
In the Republican primary for Senate District 12, the Times recommends Kevin Ambler.