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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Dunedin move has Norm Roche eyeing a new district



Pinellas Commissioner Norm Roche is on the move, but where he’ll run in 2014 is still an open question.

Roche and his wife have a contract to sell their 2,100 sq ft home in Clearwater and the sale should be completed by the end of July, giving them a few weeks to move out and into the Dunedin home they're renting for a year.

Roche said his new address puts him well within the boundaries of his current District 2, an at-large seat. But Pinellas has a mix of at-large and single member districts whose boundaries overlap, meaning that a single address can place a commissioner in two districts at once. Roche said he will soon be living within the lines of District 4, a seat that Commissioner Susan Latvala has held since 2000.

If he runs in his current district, Roche will face a primary race again state Rep. Ed Hooper, R-Clearwater, who is term-limited in the House, and has much of the county’s Republican establishment on his side. If he runs in District 4, he would face his colleague Latvala, who has given every indication that she plans to seek another term. Challenging Latvala would be an unorthodox choice, but then again, Roche prides himself on being different.

All he will say, for now, is that he’s definitely running again. And if he wins a second term, it would be his last.

"As for which seat, I honestly have not made a decision," he wrote in an email to the Times. Adding:

"Once we move through our budget process, address the on-going important EMS issue, and figure out how our taxpayers are going to be able to handle the proposed new and increased taxes and fees - to name a few - I'll then spend some time giving some serious consideration to whether I seek my final term in the At-Large District-2 seat, or another seat. I have no concerns over seeking either.

For now, my detractors, the politicos, and prognosticators can have at it - I still have a job to do on behalf of our citizens and taxpayers, and that's where my focus will remain"

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 11:05am]


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