St. Petersburg Times Online: Business

Weather | Sports | Forums | Comics | Classifieds | Calendar | Movies

District 47: After a tough GOP primary, Ambler coasts to re-election

Times Staff Writer
Published November 3, 2004

After winning the primary election by just a razor-thin margin, Republican Kevin Ambler appeared headed late Tuesday for an easy defeat of Libertarian Kim Snow in the race for the state House District 47 seat.

After a primary election campaign where Bill Bunkley, a conservative, accused Ambler of being too liberal, Ambler's attacks on his GOP rival alienated many in his own party, leading to speculation that those voters would flock to Snow, along with Democrats.

"We put the divisiveness of the primary race behind us," Ambler said Tuesday night. "The voters have shown they're voting for the candidate, not a party. They're looking for unity in their district."

Ambler said he hopes in his second term in office to be named to the House's higher education committee. He said he wants to shepherd through a bill to establish the Sure Futures Scholarship program. It would allow a corporation in need of a highly skilled worker to get a tax credit in exchange for paying for a student's graduate education and guaranteeing four years of post-degree employment.

Although Ambler for the most part has voted along Republican party lines, the 43-year-old trial attorney casts himself as a fiscal conservative with a moderate take on most social issues. He supports stem cell research, and he challenged major aspects of the medical malpractice bill supported by outgoing House Speaker Johnnie Byrd, R-Plant City, before voting with fellow Republicans to favor capping damages.

© Copyright, St. Petersburg Times. All rights reserved.