Overcast68° FULL FORECASTOvercast68° FULL FORECAST
Make us your home page
Instagram

Bay Buzz

The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

UPDATED: Will Hackworth run against Susan Latvala?

5

February

Former Dunedin Mayor Bob Hackworth said Friday morning that he's "within days" of deciding whether to challenge County Commissioner Susan Latvala in this year's election.

Hackworth, a Democrat who lost by 22 percentage points in 2008 to U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young, said a recent poll was encouraging.

UPDATE: Read Tom Eldon's summary (Download 0210 Pinellas CC Memo) of the results here. The distillation: It's not good for Latvala.

"Many incumbents in difficult times such as these face daunting re-elect numbers, but not many incumbents who face these numbers find themselves on such relatively equal footing as their challengers.

"Susan Latvala receives a 39% favorability rating while one of her Republican primary challengers Tarpon Springs Mayor Beverly Billiris receives a 34% favorability rating. Businessman and former Dunedin mayor Bob Hackworth receives a 30% favorability rating."

"This is a tough environment for incumbents," said Hackworth of the findings in a race against Latvala, a Republican first elected in 2000.

Hackworth did rule out two races he has been mentioned as a possible contender. He won't run in the Florida House District 45 race, blaming the "politics" and "dysfunction" in a Republican-controlled Legislature for holding him back. State Rep. Tom Anderson, R-Dunedin, is term-limited out.

"I finally concluded the Florida Legislature was not the place where I could have the impact I desire to have," Hackworth said.

He also won't run for the at-large seat of County Commissioner Calvin Harris. "I'm not going to run against Calvin Harris. He's a Democrat," Hackworth said.

That leaves Latvala, whose primary challengers in the north Pinellas County district include Tarpon Springs Mayor Beverley Billiris and Carl Folkman of Crystal Beach. There's no Democrat yet.

-- David DeCamp, Times staff writer

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 12:24pm]

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...