Pinellas Commissioner Justice files for reelection
Pinellas County Commissioner Charlie Justice has made his reelection bid official.
The St. Petersburg Democrat filed papers with the Pinellas Supervisor of Elections to seek a second four-year term in his countywide District 3 seat. Justice, 47, told Bay Buzz months ago that he loves his job and had no plans to run for Congress or any other office. As the board's current vice-chairman, he's in line to be chairman next year.
He has already drawn a challenger in St. Petersburg Republican Mike Mikurak, a retired business executive who looks like a good bet to be one of the standard bearers in the local Republican party's quest to regain a majority on the commission. In his first month of fundraising, Mikurak brought in about $24,000, plus another $10,000 loan from his own pocket. He has hired state Sen. Jack Latvala as his campaign consultant and his donor list includes $1,000 from Latvala's Florida Leadership Committee.
Three other county commission seats are on the ballot in 2016.
Seminole Democrat Janet Long, who held her campaign kickoff event this week, has not drawn a challenger. St. Petersburg Democrat Ken Welch has said he plans to run again and has at least one challenger in no-party candidate and political newcomer Sharon McManus of Pinellas Park. Clearwater Republican Karen Seel has also said she will seek reelection and does not yet have an opponent.