As of the morning of July 29, nearly 51,000 of 687,385 eligible voters in Pinellas County had returned a mail ballot for the Aug. 18 election.

The total included 20,314 Republicans and 20,689 Democrats plus 9,311 registered as no party affiliation and 487 registered as other.

The Aug. 18 election includes Republican and Democratic primaries, as well as nonpartisan races for school board and judges.

On the Republican primary ballot is the race for the District 13 Representative in Congress. Five names are the list, including George Buck, Sheila Griffin, Anna Paulina Luna, Amanda Makki and Sharon Barry Newby. The winner will take on the incumbent Democrat Charlie Crist in the Nov. 3 election.

Visit the candidates’ websites at,,, and

Republicans will also choose between two to represent them in race for tax collector, including the incumbent Charles W. Thomas and a former employee Joyell Hope Bobala. The winner will take on the Democratic candidate, Joseph Saportas in November.

For information about the Republican candidates, visit their websites, and

Democrats will choose between Dawn Douglas and Michael R. “Mike” Henkel to take on the incumbent Republican Christopher Latvala in November. For information about the candidates running in the primary, visit and

Democrats will also have a choice between James Mclynas and Eliseo Santana to run against incumbent Republican Bob Gualtieri for Pinellas County Sheriff in November. For information about Mclynas, visit and for information about Santana, visit

Democrats that live in District 7 will see three names on the ballot for County Commissioner to replace long-term Commissioner Ken Welch, who did not run for re-election. The names include Rene Flowers, Wengay “Newt” Newton and Frank Peterman. The winner will take on no-party affiliate candidate Maria L. Scruggs and write-in candidate Anthony Hart in November.

For information about Flowers, visit For information about Newton, visit, and for information about Peterman, visit

All voters who live in District 70 will get to decide on the race for State Representative District 70, which is a Universal Primary contest since all candidates are from the same political party. Four Democrats are competing for a chance to replace Newton, who decided to run for county commissioner.

The candidates include Keisha Bell, Michelle Grimsley, Mark Oliver and Michele K. Rayner.

Visit the candidates’ websites at,, and

All registered voters will have two nonpartisan circuit court judge races on their ballots. Evan Frayman and Eva Vergos are competing for Group 28 and Elizabeth “Liz” Jack and Ashley Ward-Singleton are battling for Group 44.

For information about the candidates, visit,, and

Three nonpartisan school board elections also are on the ballots. Laura Hine, Stephanie G. Meyer and Tom Topping are in a three-way race for Joanne Lentino’s at-large District 1 seat. Lentino did not run for re-election.

For information about Hine, visit For information about Meyer, visit and for information about Topping, visit

Incumbent Eileen M. Long is being challenged by Chris Hardman for her District 4 single member seat. For information on the candidates, visit Tampa Bay Newspapers was unable to find a website for Hardman.

In the final board race, four candidates are running to replace school board member Rene Flowers, who has represented single member District 7 since 2012. Flowers did not run for re-election and is competing for a spot on the county commission.

The candidates running for Flowers’ seat include Caprice Johnson Edmond, Corey Givens Jr., Sharon D. Jackson and Karl Nurse. For information on the candidates, visit their websites at,, and

Additional information about the candidates also is available at

Election information

The Supervisor of Elections Office has already sent out a record number of mail ballots for the Aug. 18 elections. The deadline to request a mail ballot is 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 8. Request a ballot online at, by calling 727-464-vote (8683) or email

Early voting is set for Aug. 8-16. Registered voters can cast a ballot at any Elections office from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, and from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.

For more information, visit

Suzette Porter is TBN’s Pinellas County editor. She can be reached at