The controversy over two former Tampa City Council members sued while running for Hillsborough County Commission seats has been rendered moot by the voters.

Both former council members John Dingfelder, D-Tampa, and Linda Saul-Sena, D-Tampa, were defeated by their Republican opponents Tuesday in their respective commission races.

Dingfelder lost his bid for the District 1 seat to Sandra Murman in a tight race, in which Murman edged Dingfelder 53 percent to 46 percent.

Saul-Sena lost to already-sitting District 2 County Commissioner Ken Hagan for the District 5 seat. Hagan won 52 percent of the vote, while Saul-Sena brought in 42 percent, with non-party candidate Jim Hosler getting 4 percent.

Losses by Dingfelder and Saul-Sena bring to a close a bizarre controversy that landed both in court during their campaigns.

Two Republican voters took the pair to court saying they had failed to properly resign their posts on the city council to run, according to Florida law.

Both Dingfelder and Saul-Sena resigned their seats on the council when learning of their mistakes, and also resigned from the commission races, only to be nominated back on the ballot by Democrats in Hillsborough. Two circuit judges ruled both could stay on the ballot in response to the lawsuits.

Only the voters know if the controversy over their procedural error had any effect on their losses, but Dingfelder could be seen on television Tuesday night saying he was a victim of the Republican tidal wave of victory that swept the nation.

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