Patricia “Pat” Kemp is a mother of two twenty-somethings, a family law attorney and former chief aide to a county commissioner, among other jobs, and now this Democrat has her goal set on being a county commissioner herself.
The 59 year-old is running against Republican Tim Schock.
Education: Boston University, Stetson University College of Law
Occupation: Solar Consultant
Political Experience: Legislative Aide to State Representative Sara Romeo; Chief Aide to Hillsborough County Commissioner Kathy Castor
Although the environment is her top issue, women’s rights are strongly on her agenda platform.
Kemp began her journey into the education and work field at the age of 38. She came from a Catholic family of eight and is the only one who went to college.
The single mother of two children says she decided to head back to school and better her situation, as she was struggling to stay financially afloat. She felt the necessity to show her children there is a better way in life.
Kemp had received her bachelor degree in journalism from Boston University before moving to Florida, where she hosted a radio talk show during the afternoons.
She portrays herself as a hardworking woman who has dedicated her to life to assisting the homeless and working on fair and equal treatment for all residents of Hillsborough County.
Former Tampa City Councilwoman Mary Mulhern met Kemp in 2000 and says she knew from day one that Kemp was one of a kind.
“Pat Kemp is better informed on the vital issues that face our community,” Mulhern said. “She has the work ethics that are necessary to implement change.”
Mulhern believes that Kemp will be able to carry out her goals and assist the county to improve its reputation.
Kemp has been working with numerous shelters across the Bay Area, including Tampa Crossroads. The non-profit organization assists veterans with housing, mental health and other needs.
Kemp supports increasing recycling and guarding the air, water and natural spaces. She has also been an advocate of including transit options in county road plans.
“Providing a better transit system will begin the process of delivering a cleaner and safer environment,” Kemp said.
She has accrued over 30 years of community service hours for volunteering for river-clean-ups, homeless shelters and poverty alleviation.
Kemp believes that she can build up the Tampa area with clean energy, better recycling systems and solar-powered panels.
Eaman A. Suleiman-Zayed is a student journalist attending the University of South Florida Zimmerman School of Advertising and Mass Communications. This story was produced as part of the school’s Advanced Reporting or Public Affairs class this semester, under the leadership of instructors Wayne Garcia and Wendy Whitt.