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Pinellas Park council election challenge dropped

PINELLAS PARK — Eddie Kosinski remains a candidate for City Council after his opponent dropped an attempt to bounce him from the race.

To qualify to run in Pinellas Park, candidates must turn in cards with at least 40 signatures of registered city voters.

Kosinski, 64, turned in his final cards just six minutes before qualifying ended. In all, he turned in 63 signatures, but 23 were determined to be invalid, leaving him with exactly the number he needed to qualify.

Last week, his opponent, Patricia Johnson, questioned the signatures that had been determined to be valid.

"I only went to see if I could save the city $50,000," the approximate cost of the election, Johnson said.

If just one signature was found to be invalid, Johnson said she thought he'd be kicked out of the race and there would be no need for an election.

Both went to the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Office to look at the cards. And Johnson discovered that, had Kosinski been ruled ineligible, the qualifying period would reopen and give others a chance to run.

That, she said, would have also cost the city money.

"I said, 'This is not worth it,' " said Johnson, 66.

She dropped the inquiry.

Kosinski could not be reached for comment.

The Pinellas Park election is March 13.

Anne Lindberg can be reached at alindberg@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8450.

Pinellas Park council election challenge dropped 12/03/11 [Last modified: Saturday, December 3, 2011 3:31am]

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