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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

In the birthplace of the Florida GOP, a Republican resurgence



Considering that Pinellas County starting in the 1950s birthed the modern Republican party in the Florida thanks to the likes of late U.S. Reps. William C. Cramer and CW "Bill" Young, it was a mighty big deal when in April, 2008, Democratic voter registration in Pinellas for the first time in decades surpassed Republican registration.

Well, the pendulum is swinging back.

As of Friday afternoon, the Pinellas elections office reported that Democrats had just 33 more registered voters than Republicans. Considering that Pinellas Democrats in early 2009 had a registration advantage over more than 14,000, this is a big deal that should make Democrats nervous.

Donald Trump clearly has a lot to do with drawing more people to the GOP. Since August, Pinellas GOP has added nearly 5,200 voters to its rolls, while Democrats added nearly 1,900. Meanwhile the number of voters registered to neither major party dropped by 5,365.

But also deserving credit is Pinellas Republican Chairman Nick DiCeglie, who in May kicked off a voter registration program that has included direct mail to independent voters, letters to people moving into the county, and voter registration drives at busy locations.

[Last modified: Friday, March 18, 2016 2:34pm]


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