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FL Sen. Ronda Storms to resign, run v. porn-vexed Tampa property appraiser. Former Sen. Prez Lee, Rep. Burgin, Rep. Glorioso could run

The porn-scandal engulfing the Tampa-area's property appraiser, Rob Turner, has so infuriated state Sen. Ronda Storms that she plans to resign office and run against him in the Republican primary.

"We need to restore honesty and integrity to the office," Storms said. "I'm not going to stand by silent. A Republican has to challenge him. We can't have no response and let the only political response to his actions come from the other side (Democrats."

Storms decision will set off a mad dash for her seat in Tallahassee and ultimately affects the insider Republican battle between St. Petersburg's Jack Latvala and St. Augustine's John Thrasher to be Senate President in two years. Storms was a vote for Latvala.

The names Storms has heard might want to replace her (or be persuaded to try): Former Sen. Tom Lee, her predecessor; Rep. Rachel Burgin, Rep. Shawn Harrison and, potentially, Rep. Rich Glorioso.

Lee and Burgin seem to be the most-favored. Burgin has an edge in that she's an incumbent and moneyman Sam Rashid, who fashions himself as a kingmaker, might favor her more. Lee, whom the lobby corps dislikes for forcing lobbyist reforms, still has access to heavy-hitter fundraisers and knows the game better than the others. Lee announced later that he'd run, Burgin is expected to confirm soon.

Storms will be missed by advocates for kids and the elderly. A fierce advocate, Storms was as complete a true Christian conservative as the state Capitol has seen in years. She walked the talk. She didn't just favor rights for the unborn, she was one of the few voices who consistently advocated for the least of these.

Storms could have a tough time winning the county-wide office. Democrat Bob Henriquez, a former House member, has filed to run and is an insider favorite.

Storms said she was angered by Turner for being "unrepentant" and remaining in office after aditting to the Tampa Bay Times that "he repeatedly sent pornography to his human resources director, a woman he fired Monday."

Turner said he fired Carolyn Filippone, a long-time employee of the public agency, for making false sexual discrimination claims about him to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in a complaint that included his porn sharing.

That complaint was dismissed last month by the EEOC, according to records obtained by the Tampa Bay Times, opening a window for her to file a lawsuit.

The property appraiser, up for election this year to a fifth term, said several aspects of Filippone's complaint — including that she was ostracized from co-workers for refusing his sexual advances — were false.

The rest of the Tampa Bay Times story on Turner is here

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joe blow

Tom Lee? what a scumbag!
Is he still hanging out at Scores STRIP CLUB in NY and dating strippers?

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