Pinellas prosecutor Dora Komninos files to run for open county judge seat
Assistant State Attorney Dora Komninos has twice been on Gov. Rick Scott's short list of potential appointees for open Pinellas judge seats. Now the prosecutor is running for one.
Komninos, 39, has filed papers to run for the Group 8 county judge seat currently held by Thomas Freeman. Freeman must retire in 2016 because the state constituent requires judges to step down when they turn 70 unless they've already served half their term by their 70th birthday. Freeman is 71 and his term ends Dec. 31 2016.
Komninos, of Seminole, has spent her entire 13-year career with the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office and currently leads the office's domestic violence unit.
"I deal with people from all walks of life, and I'd think I'd bring a good temperament to the bench," she said. "I make decisions on cases that affect people's lives in many different ways, so I think I'd bring a well-roundedness."
The first generation Cypriot-American would also would bring some ethnic diversity. Her father was born in Eptakomi, Cyprus; her mother in Limnia. Kominos was born in Sommerville, N.J. and grew up in Florida,
She has a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of South Florida and a law degree from St. Thomas University School of Law in Miami. She earned a master's in law from SUNY Buffalo.
County judge assignments run the gamut from misdemeanor crimes to small claims and Komninos acknowledges she lacks civil law experience, but that's nothing that the right preparation won't solve, she said.
"Just like in my current job, I would never go into a courtroom unprepared," she said.
Komninos said she was on Scott's short list to replace Judge Patrick Caddell, who died of cancer in 2014, and Judge Walter Fullerton, who resigned.
Outside of the courthouse, Komninos serves as chair of Pinellas County's Domestic Violence Task Force and president of St. Stefanos Greek Orthodox Church in St. Petersburg. Her husband Spiro has a civil law practice in Tampa and the couple has a two-year-old daughter.