Charlie Justice eyeing another run for state Senate
Among those keeping a close eye on the redistricting discussion is former state Sen. Charlie Justice, a Democrat from St. Petersburg. Justice said he may attempt to return to Tallahassee in 2012 if there's a new seat drawn for south Pinellas County that pulls in African-American neighborhoods now part of Democratic Sen. Arthenia Joyner's District 18.
Justice said new constitutional requirements that districts be geographically compact means Joyner may lose some of those neighborhoods, which are separated from most of her largely Hillsborough County district by water. Justice predicted Pinellas would be redrawn to look more like it did in 1990, with the county divided by north and south district rather than east and west.
"A lot of people are just talking like it’s a foregone conclusion, but no map has been produced," Justice said. "If you did have a district like that it would be interesting and competitive. A lot of people have asked me to run for that even though it’s not drawn yet. It’s something I’m giving thought to."
Also in his thoughts: Another effort to replace Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Young.
"The first question is do I want to run for office again," Justice said. "I'm actually enjoying time with my family."
Justice left the state Senate's District 16 seat to make an unsuccessful run for Congress against Young in 2010. Republican Jack Latvala was elected in November to replace Justice.