Tim Schock, the Republican candidate for District 6 County Commissioner, is heading into the general election with one central message: he is not a career politician. And he says he’s running a homegrown campaign to prove it.
“I didn’t want what everybody else has,” Schock said. “I wanted something that broke the mold because that’s how I intend to serve, too.”
Education: Emory University, bachelor’s degree; Duke University, MBA
Occupation: Owns Lightning Capital Consulting
Political experience: None
Schock’s kitchen counter is the headquarters for his campaign. Running a smaller campaign that is a family affair using mainly volunteer-based phone calls is what Schock says he had in mind.
Schock is a small-business owner who says he understands the frustrations of those he wants to represent. He cites his ability to focus on what is important, because he has a “different mindset” and “unique perspective” gained outside the political arena.
“Politicians tend to worry about the next election, more than solving the problem,” Schock says.
Schock has worked in technology and transportation, with companies such as Accenture, ChoicePoint, and TransCore, before starting his own firm, Lightning Capital Consulting four years ago. He also holds a seat on the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council as the Hillsborough County gubernatorial appointee.
Schock lived in Michigan, Minnesota, Georgia, and North Carolina before ending up in Florida to raise his family with his wife of 20 years, Heather.
Schock is running against Democrat Pat Kemp, who ran unsuccessfully for the post along with Schock in 2014. Schock says he is looking for more debates and the chance to talk about real issues.
“This race can now focus on issues and how we’re going to get things done and not on a personality,” Schock said, “and I’ll leave it at that.
Some of the issues Schock is concerned about, according to his website, include economic empowerment for small businesses and entrepreneurs, fiscal responsibility, accessibility and effective and fiscally responsible transportation solutions. Though he lists public safety as his top issue, it is followed by transportation and use of the state budget.
Schock wants to hold at least one county commission meeting a month or every other month after 6 p.m. so that those who work have an opportunity to participate. He also wants to relocate meetings regarding specific issues to the local communities they directly impact.
“County Commission’s role and purpose is to make our lives a little easier and a little better,” Schock said.
Schock opposed Go Hillsborough, a failed transportation plan, citing that it did not account for the future growth and needs.
Shock opposes following the lead of Tampa on decriminalizing marijuana in Hillsborough County according to the Tampa Bay Times, as that ordinance was related to levying fines.
In regards to the Domestic Partnership Registry, Shock said he personally believes that a marriage is between a man and a woman and that the term 'marriage' has has been co-opted by the government. He believes the government should not have the right to say who an estate should go to after a person dies, or who can and cannot visit persons when in the hospital. Schock called it a contract law issue.
Schock says he wants to target independents. He also plans to strengthen his name recognition, which he says is a main reason why he beat previously undefeated Jim Norman for the Republican nomination.
The “Schock the County Commission” campaign has garnered a total of 129 contributions, totaling to $98,135, of which $36,000 came from himself as a loan. Among his contributors are USF business college donors Les and Pam Muma. Schock also reports 90 expenditures for $57,533.42 according to or according to campaign finance reports.
Jillian Olsen 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.