Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas County Commission race between Latvala and Hackworth takes federal turn

PALM HARBOR — What do President Barack Obama and Pinellas County Commission candidate Bob Hackworth have in common?

If you believe longtime Commissioner Susan Latvala: a lot. Campaign fliers mailed by Latvala this week tie her Democratic opponent to the embattled president, alleging Hackworth would bring Obama's "big government, liberal agenda to Pinellas" and riffing off an Obama slogan that "Hackworth is not the change we need."

Hackworth, a former mayor of Dunedin, laughed off the ad as an irrelevant and "totally bogus" scare tactic.

"It's kind of a sign of desperation on her part," Hackworth said. "She's run out of things to talk about as they relate to things in Pinellas County, so she wants to talk about federal issues."

The flier showcases portraits of the president and two quotes from 2008: one, from a radio interview, of Hackworth praising Obama's "issues and initiatives," and another, from the Times, saying Hackworth supports "universal health care and citizenship for illegal immigrants." The actual Times story describes Hackworth as supporting "Obama's plan for comprehensive immigration reform," though Latvala insisted the flier was correct.

Latvala, the 10-year North Pinellas District 4 commissioner who won the Republican primary in August, said the ad was not negative or a stretch.

"I'm not going to bash him publicly. His record speaks for itself," she said. "He is quoted as saying how wonderful Obama's plans are … and that taxes are the solution. … Raising taxes is a local level issue, and that's what he has been talking about all through this campaign."

In the heated runup to the Nov. 2 general election, both Latvala, 61, and Hackworth, 55, have accused the other's campaign of mudslinging. In a June e-mail, Latvala told Hackworth, "I will not participate in your style of campaigning."

But Hackworth said Latvala's ploy to tie him to national controversy was just another page in her playbook of partisan slams.

"It's hardly an original strategy, but there's usually a shred of connection between the federal issue and the race that people are running in," Hackworth said. "I guess it's politics as usual."

Contact Drew Harwell at or (727) 445-4170.

Pinellas County Commission race between Latvala and Hackworth takes federal turn 10/14/10 [Last modified: Thursday, October 14, 2010 9:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect


    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  2. Hopes fade after landslide destroys Chinese village (w/video)


    Crews searching through the night in the rubble left by a landslide that buried a mountain village under tons of soil and rocks in southwestern China found 15 bodies, but more than 110 more people remained missing.

    Vehicles and people line a road leading to the site of a landslide in Xinmo village in Mao County on Saturday in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province. More than 100 people remained missing after the village was buried under tons of rocks and soil.
  3. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  4. Thousands converge in two St. Pete locations celebrating LGBT rights

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom Rockhill didn't know what to expect Saturday, but by noon people were knocking on the door of his bar Right Around the Corner in Grand Central.

    (From left to right) Emma Chalut 18, gets a rainbow sticker on her cheek from her sister Ellie, 15 both of Jacksonville before the annual St. Pete Pride parade in downtown St. Petersburg on Saturday. This year the route was changed from the Grand Central and Kenwood area to Bayshore Drive.
[EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
  5. Retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald dies

    TALLAHASSEE — A former Florida Supreme Court justice, who wrote a decision that prevented lawyers from excluding jurors because of their race, has died.

    Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald died Saturday, the court said in a statement. He was 93.