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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Mayor's race could be decided way before election day

It won't reassure the many St. Petersburg voters still uncertain and confused about their mayoral choices, but the election is coming far sooner than most people realize. Starting July 13, elections officials will mail nearly 60,000 absentee ballots to city voters — meaning the mayoral primary could be decided long before the official Sept. 1 election.

"It is probably one of the least reported and most fascinating parts of this race. I don't know that anybody has a super plan for it, because this has never happened before," said Nick Hansen, campaign manager for candidate Deveron Gibbons, an Amscot Financial vice president.

How many voters will cast a ballot before election day? Consider that in Pinellas County municipal elections in March, 74 percent of Oldsmar voters cast mail-in ballots, 59 percent of Gulfport and Indian Rocks Beach voters cast ballots early, and 83 percent of Seminole voters voted by mail before election day.


[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:54am]


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