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Leslie Waters withdraws from state Senate race to run for re-election to Seminole council

SEMINOLE — Leslie Waters has decided to run for re-election to the Seminole City Council rather than stay in the race for state Senate District 13.

Waters, 64, announced her intentions last week, saying she had come "to the realization that my interest, passion, enthusiasm and experience to impact 'good government' is at the local level of government, not the state-level, so I have filed to run for re-election to Seminole City Council."

Her ultimate goal, she said, is to run for Seminole mayor in 2013. Jimmy Johnson is mayor now.

Waters had entered the race for the Senate seat held by Republican Dennis Jones about 10 months ago. Her opponent was fellow Republican Jim Frishe, who had amassed a $115,189 war chest as of Sept. 30. Waters had raised $31,005. Democrat Daryl Rouson also has entered the Senate race.

Waters said her decision to stay on the council if re-elected was based not only on her passion for local government but her crowded schedule.

"Since leaving the Florida Legislature in 2006, I have been involved in all things 'local government,' from serving on Seminole City Council since 2009, being a city delegate to the Suncoast League of Cities, speaking at a Florida League of Cities conference, teaching a (University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus) Urban Politics/Government course and, through my consulting firm, have accepted international assignments to consult with local council and parliament officials, and candidates in Southern Sudan, Egypt, Jordan and Bosnia," she said.

"I have decided that my national and international government relations consulting and USFSP teaching schedules have become too busy to run a viable Senate campaign; and upon a hopeful victorious outcome, my schedule would not be commensurate with time needed to serve as a state senator."

The filing deadline to run for the Seminole council is Tuesday. The election is March 13.

Reach Anne Lindberg at alindberg@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8450.

Leslie Waters withdraws from state Senate race to run for re-election to Seminole council 12/17/11 [Last modified: Saturday, December 17, 2011 3:31am]

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