Rouson ditches state senate campaign, seeking reelection to house district
ST. PETERSBURG — State Rep. Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg, won’t be running for state senate after all. Last year, the 57-year-old attorney said he was interested in running for the District 13 seat held by state Sen. Dennis Jones, R-Treasure Island, who is leaving because of term limits. But Rouson dropped those plans last week and filed to seek reelection to his House 55 seat that he’s held since 2008. With the session set to begin Tuesday, Rouson said he didn’t want the distraction of running for a larger senate district, especially without knowing where the district lines will ultimately be drawn. "It’s not clear what the lines are," Rouson said. "And I might have jumped out a little early. I need to go into session without being a target." His decision leaves the senate district open for state Rep. Jim Frishe, R-St. Petersburg, who had raised $115,189 by October. Another candidate, Republican Leslie Waters, dropped out last month and is now seeking re-election to the Seminole City Council. Rouson’s change of heart triggered a chain reaction in the race for his house seat. Former St. Petersburg Council member Rene Flowers had filed to run for Rouson’s house seat, but dropped out last month after he told her he was seeking reelection. "He’s done a good job, so I did tell him that if things didn’t work out, that I would step back if he wanted to run for his house seat," Flowers said. "I’m not disappointed. They have term limits up there, so there is light at the end of the tunnel. My turn will come." Community activist Sharon Russ is Rouson’s lone opponent.