Is Susan Latvala out of the woods?
Pinellas County Commissioner Susan Latvala didn't win a majority of the Republican vote Tuesday, but she did win by more than 13 percentage points.
That tells former county GOP chairman Paul Bedinghaus, a supporter, that Latvala is in good shape against Democrat Bob Hackworth. In fact, Latvala and other Republicans such as county Chairman J.J. Beyrouti said that Latvala won't need party help for the Nov. 2 election. Latvala ended the primary with nearly $30,000 on hand, compared to Hackworth's $24,000.
Bedinghaus said Latvala, known as a moderate Republican relative to the conservative wing of the party, will be able to win Democrats. That's a viewpoint counter to rivals', who suggest she turned off so many people she couldn't win a majority Tuesday.
"She gets a lot of crossover votes," Bedinghaus said late Tuesday after the results were clear. "Her biggest challenge was the primary."
David DeCamp, Times staff writer