Janet Long files to run against Pinellas County Commissioner Neil Brickfield
Former state Rep. Janet Long filed today to run for the Pinellas County Commission seat held by Neil Brickfield.
Long's decision ends months of speculation that she would run against Brickfield.
Long said Pinellas has long had a history of elected officials who could put aside partisan politics and do what's best for the county.
"Four years ago that changed," Long said. "The leadership and experience in governing has been replaced by self-serving individuals who have no strength when it comes to leading public policy."
She added, "I think this will be a litmus test on how extreme our citizens want our county government to be. I don't think we want to follow in the footsteps of Tallahassee and Washington."
Long, 67, a Democrat, is a native of West Stewartstown, N.H., who has lived in Seminole since 1972. She worked as the deputy insurance commissioner for the state Department of Insurance from 1987 to 1998. She served on the Seminole City Council from 2002 to 2006 when she was elected to the House District 51 seat. She held that seat until 2010 when she was defeated by St. Petersburg business owner Larry Ahern, a Republican.
Brickfield, 49, a Republican, is a former member of the Safety Harbor City Commission. He first ran for the County Commission in 2004 but lost to Ronnie Duncan. His second attempt, in 2008, was successful.
County Commission District 1 is voted on by all Pinellas voters.
-- Anne Lindberg, Times Staff Writer