Thomas Scott Announces Candidacy for Hillsborough County Commission

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Former Hillsborough County Commissioner, With Decades of Public Service, Seeks District 6 Seat

Thomas Scott

I have a proven track record of effecting change and am truly looking forward to the opportunity of serving residents again in this capacity.

The Rev. Thomas Scott announced his run for Hillsborough County Commission District 6 seat. Scott brings years of experience in local politics, having previously served as a Hillsborough County Commissioner from 1996 to 2006, three times holding the position of chairman. He also served on the Tampa City Council from 2007 to 2011, including three terms as chairman. In 2015, Governor Rick Scott appointed Thomas Scott to the State of Florida Elections Commission. Thomas Scott is considered one of the most respected public officials in Hillsborough County.

“I believe the citizens of Hillsborough County deserve elected leadership who hear, understand and address their needs,” said Scott. “I have a proven track record of effecting change and am truly looking forward to the opportunity of serving residents again in this capacity.”

During previous terms as a county commissioner, Scott used his skills and experience to create long-range plans that still affect the viability of Hillsborough. As chairman, Commissioner Scott led the board in discussing transportation improvements in 1998 and 2003. He initiated the development of the 40th Street road improvement project, between Fowler and Hillsborough Avenues. In 2003, Rev. Scott recommended, sought and obtained the approval of the County Commission in the creation of the largest 30-year Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) district in the county and state to support the economic redevelopment of East Tampa. He also recommended to the City of Tampa to develop a CRA Plan for the County Commission’s approval. As a result of his efforts, the County of Hillsborough and the City of Tampa continues to be able to fund infrastructure projects that support the construction of business buildings, affordable housing, and other economic projects that contribute to residents’ quality of life in the county and city. Additionally, Scott spearheaded an environmental clean-up in communities such as Gibsonton and Progress Village, located in the unincorporated area of Hillsborough County. More importantly, Scott was instrumental in establishing a county-funded recurring budget for the environmental clean-up initiative. Scott’s efforts pointed to building a community infrastructure that would attract industry and jobs to the entire county.

Scott also fought for increasing accessibility to quality public housing through affordable homeownership opportunities and rental options, and subsidies for building affordable housing—houses and rental units. In 2005, he created and chaired the Affordable Housing Task Force to reform and establish a comprehensive affordable housing policy for the County, by working collaboratively with the affordable housing industry professionals in Hillsborough County.

He completed his undergraduate work at the University of North Florida, receiving a degree in Criminology, with a minor in Sociology. Scott received a Doctorate of Humane Letters from the Florida Metropolitan University and an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Southern California School of Ministry. He has served on various national, state and local boards and committees, including the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority and the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority.

Scott considers his life’s work public service. He is the Senior Pastor at 34th Street Church of God, where he has served for 35 years. He has been married for 40 years and has two sons, one daughter and 12 grandchildren.

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Althea Paul