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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Can Charlie Justice and Nina Hayden win? Pinellas Democratic chairman says yes



Suspend, for a moment, the knowledge that U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Indian Shores, has $641,000 on hand and state Sen. Charlie Justice, D-St. Petersburg, has $22,000 in their contest for Young's seat.

Or that Republican Jack Latvala has $365,000 on hand and Democrat Nina Hayden has $930 on hand in their race to fill Justice's District 16 spot.

Pinellas County Democratic Party chairman Ramsay McLauchlan dismissed the idea the Democrats' campaigns are failing.

On Justice:

"When you take on a 40-year incumbent, you certainly are going to be an underdog in any situation," McLauchlan said of Justice, who has tried to hit Young on ethics and seek voters seeking a change. "The message he is trying to talk about is pretty clear and doesn’t necessarily need a lot of money to get out there."

On Hayden:

"Nina Hayden, she’s running against a former legislator, obviously from a financial point of view, she has a disadvantage. Much like some of these other races, there’s a clear choice. Do you want to continue the Republican agenda in Tallahassee. If you do, you’re going to support Jack Latvala," McLauchlan said.

U.S. Senate nominee Kendrick Meek was outspent and he won, McLauchlan said. And Rick Scott, though he actually had lots more spending, showed even Republicans want a change.

"The reality is Scott spent $50 million to run against Sink, and (Democrat) Alex Sink is probably going to spend less, and Alex Sink is going to crush him,” McLauchlan said.

David DeCamp, Times staff writer


[Last modified: Thursday, September 16, 2010 3:41pm]


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