UPDATED: Justice hints at county campaign
UPDATED: "We're looking seriously at it. I'd kind of rounded up the people I would need, workers and financial supporters. And they have been very encouraging," said Justice, who added he expects to discuss a decision about running for commission during the holidays.
Former state Sen. Charlie Justice, a St. Petersburg Democrat, seems to hint at running for local office -- County Commission maybe? -- in a letter he released Thursday to various officials and news outlets. While ostensibly a message about declining to run for state Senate again, it also reads in part like resume as a future candidate.
Justice previously said he was considering running for the commission after the board voted 4-3 to stop adding fluoride to the water. Justice could run against incumbent Republican Nancy Bostock, who voted to stop fluoridation.
"My time with my family, including my daughters, age six and nine, is precious, and I have seen the past few months that being engaged at the local level is just as rewarding as debating policy in Tallahassee. There is work to do here in Pinellas," wrote Justice, who didn't immediately return a message seeking comment.
His full letter to state Sen. Chris Smith is on the jump.
----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Charlie Justice email@example.com
Dear Senator Smith:
Thank you for your kind words encouraging me to run for the Florida Senate in 2012. I respect you as a leader and friend, and feel honored to have had the opportunity to serve with you in the Florida House and Senate during my ten years representing the great people of Pinellas County.
I am extremely proud of my time in the Florida Legislature. I was able to put partisanship aside, working with Democrats and Republicans, passing key initiatives that have had positive affects statewide. As Democratic Leader Pro-Temporare in the Florida Senate, I helped lead our caucus in its fight to stand up against the special interests, and bring reason and common sense back into an increasingly radical body. I was humbled when I was nominated by a Republican colleague to lead the Pinellas Legislative Delegation as Chairman, and elected unanimously.
When I look back at my record of service, I proudly point to having
· Protected patients’ medical privacy
· Spearheaded the initiative that stopped local governments from using public funds on political advertisements.
· Stood strong against governmental intrusion in the Schiavo family matter
· Protected local jobs from outsourcing
· Rejected higher phone rates
· Reduced class sizes
· Enhanced penalties for those who assault our seniors
· Advocated for the end of discrimination when it came to children needing adoption
· Stood up for the Azalea residents after Raytheon’s contamination
· Fought for Pinellas residents and businesses facing unwanted annexation
· Improved benefits and pay for teachers who were Nationally Board Certified
· Held polluters accountable for dumping lead in Pinellas and state waters
· Improved protections for hearing aid consumers
· Protected the My Safe Florida Home program lowering homeowners insurance rates
· Looked out for military serving who were getting treated unfairly by insurance companies
· Improved job and education opportunities for military families
· Lowered property taxes for disabled Floridians
· Fought for affordable tuition for our college students
· Reduced taxes for small businesses
· Stimulated Florida’s film industry with appropriate incentives
· Helped rein in skyrocketing property taxes when local governments wouldn’t
· Worked against oil companies’ plans to drill off our coast
· Worked to rid children’s products of toxic materials like lead & cadmium
As well as securing funding for local priorities including
· New Science & Technology building at USFSP
· Foster children’s services
· Alzheimer’s Research
· Pinellas Association for Retarded Citizens
· Beach renourishment
· Local parks throughout Pinellas County
· Funding for both USFSP and SPC
· Road improvements including Tyrone Blvd, Gandy, Ulmerton and other local roads
· Cystic Fibrosis treatment
· Services for Seniors including Meals on Wheels, adult day care and congregate dining
· Scholarships for nursing students
The ten years I spent serving my community and state were incredibly rewarding. That fact has made this decision extremely difficult. However, my time home this past year has reminded me that it is true, there is no place like home. My time with my family, including my daughters, age six and nine, is precious, and I have seen the past few months that being engaged at the local level is just as rewarding as debating policy in Tallahassee. There is work to do here in Pinellas.
While you never say never in politics, today I have to say no.
Florida House 2000-2006
Florida Senate 2006-2010