Brickfield bows out of Pinellas Commission race
Whatever appeal the Pinellas County Commission District 4 race held for Neil Brickfield, it's long gone.
The former commissioner, who lost his bid for re-election in 2012 and had filed to run again this Nov., announced on his Facebook page on Wednesday that he's withdrawn his candidacy. Brickfield was one of seven Republicans in the race and was one of the most well known to voters, but his 2012 defeat is only recent history, as is his vote to halt fluoridation of the county's drinking water, which he later said he regretted.
As of today, Brickfield is the fifth candidate to withdraw from the race. After initially announcing that she would seek re-election, Pinellas Commissioner Susan Latvala decided to retire at the end of her term. Former candidates Peter Nehr, Michael Milhoan, and Dusty Showers have also declared their campaigns "inactive."
That leaves nine candidates remaining, a roster that includes six Republicans, two Democrats, and one candidate with no party affiliation.
Brickfield wrote on this Facebook page:
"My heart isn’t in this campaign," these are words I never imagined I’d ever say but over the last few weeks of the campaign I have found myself consistently choosing my family and the Pinellas Sheriff’s Police Athletic League instead of campaigning. I have found the work with PAL, working with at risk children in one of Pinellas County’s toughest neighborhoods more rewarding than anything I’ve done in politics. I find working and helping these young people more fulfilling and more meaningful. I got involved in politics to make a positive impact on the community. I do that every day at PAL. After lots of prayer and discussions with my family I have come to the conclusion that my heart is just not in campaigning. It reminds me of a fortune cookie that my brother got years ago, stop looking all over for happiness, it’s sitting right beside you. Therefore I am withdrawing from this County Commission race. I know almost everyone running for the Pinellas County Commission and Republicans have several outstanding candidates. I’m looking forward to our new Republican County Commissioner and great days ahead for Pinellas!