Harrison to seek at-large seat

Term limits stop a District 7 run, so he hopes a citywide win will keep him on the council.

Published May 19, 2005

TAMPA - City Council member Shawn Harrison announced Wednesday that he will seek the District 2 at-large City Council seat being vacated by Rose Ferlita.

Harrison, like Ferlita, will fall prey to the council's eight-year term limits in 2007. For six years, Harrison has held the District 7 seat that encompasses much of the New Tampa area.

"I think people need to know what my intentions are," Harrison said.

The announcement followed a New Tampa Rotary Club luncheon at which Harrison spoke about issues in New Tampa. Harrison, 40, said there has been much speculation about what he was going to do next. After speaking with friends and supporters, Harrison said he decided to make it official.

"I've always had a wide cross appeal of people who have supported me financially," he said regarding the task of raising funds for a citywide political campaign. "I have a good group of friends."

Harrison, an attorney, is currently the chairman pro-tem of the council and chair of the Metropolitan Planning Organization.

He lives in the Hunter's Green subdivision. He earned a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of South Florida before attending law school at the University of Florida.

Harrison is a Republican; city elections are nonpartisan.

As the reality of term limits approaches, several local politicians are beginning to consider their next move.

Also said to be interested in Ferlita's District 2 at-large seat are Frank Sanchez and Tom Scott, a Hillsborough County commissioner who must also vacate his seat due to term limits. Sanchez finished second to Pam Iorio in the 2003 mayoral race

As for Ferlita, she may run for the city's District 4 seat or the county's District 1 seat being vacated by County Commissioner Kathy Castor.

Harrison said he considered several options, including a run at a County Commission seat or for state office. He has yet to set up an official organization for his next campaign and plans to file with the Board of Elections later this year.

Demorris Lee can be reached at 813 269-8481 or dalee@sptimes.com