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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Conservative group targets Democratic challengers for Pinellas Commission




Mailers attacking the two Democratic challengers for the Pinellas County Commission are landing in mail boxes, paid for by a conservative group called the Main Street Leadership Council.

The mailers target Janet Long and Charlie Justice as “Too Costly. Too Out of Touch.” Justice, a former State Sentator who is running against Republican incumbent Nancy Bostock, is characterized as being in the pocket of big insurance companies. (The same line of attack was used against him in 2006, when he ran for State Senate.) Long, a former State Rep., is opposing Republican incumbent Neil Brickfield.
Both races are close, according to a recent poll conducted by StPetePolls, with Brickfield and Justice's leads falling within the survey's margin of error.
An electioneering group, Main Street Leadership Council has a Tallahassee address and is registered to Emmett Mitchell IV, an attorney.
The group has amassed $88,475 since June of this year, and public financial documents show that the vast majority of that money coming from the Committee for a Conservative House, the political action group of Rep. Will Weatherford, of Wesley Chapel. Florida Forward, the political committee of Rep. Richard Corcoran, a Republican from Trinity, gave $8,000 to the group.
The mailer is a departure from the generally polite tone of the campaigns in both of these races for the County Commission. Though both races are in a statistical tie, with a large percentage of voters still saying they are unsure who they will support, the campaigns have (so far) not been overtly negative.

[Last modified: Monday, October 15, 2012 12:40pm]


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