In Pinellas County, a Florida bellwether, Democrats on the defensive
Democrats outnumber Republicans on Pinellas County voter rolls. Despite that advantage, the county's most popular party may find itself losing ground after the Nov. 2 general election.Several factors may be to blame, starting with Democrats who gave up seats to seek other offices — and now face uphill tasks.State Sen. Charlie Justice decided to run for longtime U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young's seat, opening a state Senate district that was a big battleground in 2006. Justice, D-St. Petersburg, gambled on Young, R-Indian Shores, not running again.
Then, Pinellas County School Board member Nina Hayden decided to run for Justice's seat against well-known Republican and former state Sen. Jack Latvala, opening up a board seat she had just won in 2008.
Now, both of their campaigns have staggered against their Republican foes. And Hayden's board seat, though nonpartisan, will be taken by Terry Krassner, a Republican who snared the seat in last week's primary.
Republicans also are keying on two House races in Pinellas to unseat Democrats in possible swing districts.