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Pinellas County
42 candidates qualify for 2014 elections
Fifteen candidates campaigning for three county commission seats
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Fifteen candidates are campaigning for three Pinellas County Commission seats. The qualifying period ended at noon June 20.

Ten of the 15 are running for the seat left vacant after longtime commissioner Susan Latvala announced she would not run again.

District 2

Incumbent Norm Roche, a Republican, who holds the at-large, District 2, seat is challenged by fellow Republican Ed Hooper, currently serving in the state House of Representatives. Roche and Hooper will square off in the Aug. 26 primary.

Largo Mayor Pat Gerard, the only Democrat running for the District 2 seat, will vie against the winner of the Republican primary during the Nov. 4 election.

District 4

Latvala has represented citizens in northern portion of the county since 2000. When she decided to retire, fifteen candidates announced intentions to run for her job. Of the 15, 10 qualified, including Republican Dave Eggers, currently Dunedin mayor, and former Oldsmar mayor Republican Jim Roenecker.

Five additional Republican candidates qualified: Johnny Johnson of Tarpon Springs, Tim Keffalas of Tarpon Springs, Wanda Kimsey of Tarpon Springs, Macho Liberti of Palm Harbor, and former state representative Peter Nehr of Palm Harbor.

Republicans will decide which candidate will be on the November ballot during the Aug. 26 primary election.

Two democrats announced intentions to run but only Mark Weinkrantz of Palm Harbor qualified. He will move on to the November election.

Two no-party-affiliation (NPA) candidates also qualified – Carl Folkman of Crystal Beach and Marcus Harrison of Palm Harbor.

District 6

Only two qualified to run for the District 6 seat. Republican Tom Rask of Seminole is taking on the incumbent John Morroni, who also is a Republican. Libertarian Jack Harris had announced his intention to run, but did not qualify.

Because the only candidates are from the same political party, a “universal” primary will decide who will serve the next term. All registered voters in District 6, regardless of party affiliation, are eligible to vote in this race on Aug. 26.

Only registered Republicans will vote for county commission candidates in District 2 and 4 in the Aug. 26 primary.

School board

Eleven qualified to run during the Aug. 26 election for a position on the county school board. All voters within at-large Districts 2 and 3 will be eligible to cast a ballot in these non-partisan races. Voters within the district will decide representatives for Districts 4, 6 and 7.

Chris Tauchnitz is challenging incumbent Terry B. Krassner for the at-large District 2 seat. Kent Curtis is taking on incumbent Peggy O’Shea for the at-large District 3 position.

Three are vying for the District 4 spot, being vacated by longtime board member Robin L. Wikle: Beverley Billiris, John H. Nygren and Ken Peluso. Incumbent Linda Lerner is being challenged by Maureen Ahern for the District 6 seat. Irene Olive Cates qualified as a write-in candidate against incumbent Rene Flowers in District 7.

Election information

The voter registration deadline for the primary election is July 28. Only registered Republicans are eligible to vote in the District 2 and 4 county commission races. The candidate receiving the most votes will go on to the Nov. 4 General Election.

Republicans and Democrats can vote in the District 6 county commission “universal” primary. School board elections are non-partisan, so all voters can participate.

The Supervisor of Elections announced that mail ballots are tentatively scheduled to go out to overseas and absent military voters July 12. Tentative date to begin mailing ballots to domestic voters is July 22. The deadline to request that a ballot be mailed is Aug. 20.

Early voting begins Aug. 16 and concludes Aug. 24.

For more information, visit votepinellas.com or call 464-6788.

Special Districts

Special district races will appear on the Nov. 4 General Election ballot. Unopposed candidates are elected automatically.

Three are running for Seat 2 on the East Lake Tarpon Special Fire Control District Commission: Wayne Ferguson, Sharon Hurst and Tom McQueen. Randy Burr is unopposed for Seat 4.

Kathleen Quinn Litton is running unopposed for Seat 2 on the Lealman Special Fire District Board. Rebecca Harriman and Jorge Mercado will vie for Seat 4.

Julie Peluso is unopposed for Seat 2 on the Palm Harbor Special Fire Control & Rescue District Board. Casey Cane and Jim Nelson qualified to run for Seat 4.

David D. Gardella is unopposed for Seat 3 on the Pinellas Suncoast Fire & Rescue District Board. Joseph Bruni and James G. Mortellite are running for Seat 4.

Three candidates are running unopposed for a seat on the Eastlake Oaks Community Development District Board: Daniel Saracki for Seat 1, Darlene Lazier for Seat 2, and Bogdan “Don” Nowacki for Seat 3.
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