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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Jack's back: Latvala announces bid for state Senate



ST. PETERSBURG -- Former state Sen. Jack Latvala just announced he's running for the seat of Sen. Charlie Justice, D-St Petersburg. Justice recently said he plans to run for Congress in 2010.

Latvala, a Republican and a political consultant, served from 1994 to 2002. He says he'd be the first to return to the Senate after departing because of term limits.

A couple campaign planks:

Oil drilling: "I'm opposed to drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico," he said, breaking with some Republicans pushing for more drilling.

Insurance: He supports legislation freeing insurers to charge higher rates without requiring assessments to Citizens. "I don’t see anything wrong with giving people that option. I just think we need further reaching solutions than what they’re offering now," he said.

Latvala is the first announced candidate in a Pinellas-based district that is expected to snag the interest of more than a few politicians. He recently moved to Clearwater after being a registered Steinhatcher voter last year. He has maintained a printing busines in Largo, among other ventures.

"Since the day I left the senate I’d wanted to go back. I loved being in the senate. I thought I did a good job," Latvala said.

Reps. Bill Heller and Rick Kriseman have been mentioned on the Democratic side, and former Rep. Kim Berfield and Sandy Murman among Republicans.

David DeCamp, Times staff writer

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:50am]


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