Dingfelder files to run for County Commission seat
April 9, 2009
Tampa City Councilman John Dingfelder has filed to run for a Hillsborough County Commission seat next year.
Dingfelder, 52, filed with the county Supervisor of Elections Office to run for County Commission District 1, now held by his former colleague on the city council, Rose Ferlita. Although she has not announced, Ferlita is expected to run for mayor of Tampa in 2011 when Pam Iorio leaves the post.
Dingfelder said he told Ferlita he was running for her seat as a courtesy.
"Politics is funny," Dingfelder said. "You try to see the picture that is coming, and right now it appears she is interested in going back to the city, so I'm looking at it as an open seat."
Dingfelder ran for the same county commission seat in 2002, losing in the Democratic primary to Kathy Castor. Most of the residents who live in his South Tampa-based council district also live within the commission District 1 boundaries. The commission district also includes West Tampa, Town 'n Country and much of the south-county area, including Ruskin and Apollo Beach.
A Tampa native, Dingfelder is in his second term on the council. He said he studied agriculture before going to law school. He served as an assistant county attorney in the 1990s, and specialized in land-use and environmental law in private practice.
"In the county, we need to continue to do better in our land use and growth management decisions," Dingfelder said. "That translates into a lot of other important other issues such as transit, water and infrastructure. So those are some issues I can focus on."
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