Pinellas County Commissioner Susan Latvala tries to compose herself as she tells fellow commissioners that she is not seeking re-election.
CLEARWATER – Pinellas County Commissioner Susan Latvala shocked fellow commissioners when she announced Jan. 28 that she would not be seeking re-election.
She had previously announced that she would run.
Latvala is currently serving as commission vice-chair. She has served on the commission since 2000.
“I’ve decided not to seek re-election after much soul-searching,” Latvala said.
She said her “kids were in high school” when she first ran for election.
“Now they are 35 and 36 and fixing to give me a grandchild,” she said.
Latvala said serving on the commission was the “greatest honor of her life.”
Her fellow commissioners were obviously surprised by the announcement.
“You will be missed, but family is No. 1,” said Commissioner John Morroni. “You will be missed.”
“It was a real honor to serve with you,” Commissioner Ken Welch added. “I really am bummed out now.”
Commission Chair Karen Seel said, “I’m bummed out too and a little surprised, but family comes first.”
Seel added that serving on the commission often means that family has to come second.
Latvala, who recently announced her engagement, said there were “lots of people” qualified to serve.
Six candidates have announced their intention to run to represent District 4: Republicans Scott Fisher, Timothy Keffalas and Wanda Kimsey, along with Democrat Jack McAdoo, plus Dustan Showers and Marcus Harrison, who are not affiliated with any party.