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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Charles E. 'Chuck' Rainey, Pinellas powerbroker, dies at 77



PALM HARBOR — Charles E. Rainey, a consummate politician who more or less ruled Pinellas County for three decades, has died.

He was 77. He was at Hospice House Brookside in Palm Harbor when he died early Wednesday.

Mr. Rainey, a former legislator, became a member of the Pinellas County Commission in 1967.

Widely acknowledged as the county's most potent politician of his time, Mr. Rainey announced in June 1996 that he was resigning with two years remaining on his term.

He was 63 years old at the time and had a series of heart problems, knee replacement surgery and a broken ankle. He said he was stepping down for health reasons.

"If I'd known I was going to be around this long, I'd have taken better care of myself," he said in announcing that he was leaving an office and an enormous record both loved and detested.


[Last modified: Thursday, September 16, 2010 3:40pm]


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