Heller won't run for Justice's seat
Rep. Bill Heller, one of the names bandied to replace Sen. Charlie Justice, said today that he won't run for the Senate post in 2010. Justice plans to run for U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young's post, leaving the Senate District 16 seat open.
Former Sen. Jack Latvala, once a GOP majority leader, has already begun campaigning for the seat in a race that's expected to be one of the most competitive in the state.
Heller, a St. Petersburg Democrat like Justice, said he decided against running after talking to his wife and doing some political math. If he ran, it could put his House District 52 seat at risk, as well as the Senate seat. Then the Legislature will redistrict two years later.
"I really like my district," Heller said. In the 2006 election that brought him into office, he said, "I really worked hard. I also feel that in 2010 we have a shot of winning back the House or at least coming close to having an equal number."