Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Pinellas results: Check here for updates


Below is a regularly updating list of results from races in Pinellas County. The most recent updates will appear at the top for each race.

9:18 p.m. All precincts' votes are counted in Pinellas. But there are 9,500 absentee ballots that have yet to be counted in Pinellas, and supervisor of elections officials say they will not be counted until Wednesday. So results Tuesday night, and all results below, remain unofficial.

7:30 p.m. The Pinellas elections supervisor's office reports that results from some precincts may be delayed to allow voters who were in line at 7 p.m. to finish voting, as required by law.

7:48 p.m. With about half of precincts reporting, Pinellas voters are giving a slight lead in the county to President Barack Obama over Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

Pinellas County Commission

Final: District 1, Janet Long defeats Neil Brickfield, 55 to 45 percent. "I will never vote against fluoride as long as I live," Brickfield said after conceding defeat. He said he regrets the vote to remove fluoride from the Pinellas water supply.

District 3. Charlie Justice defeats Nancy Bostock 52 to 48 percent, ousting the Republican incumbent.

District 7. Incumbent Ken Welch handily defeats challenger Buck Walz by a margin of 69 to 31 percent.

8:20 p.m. Incumbent Neil Brickfield conceded defeat to Janet Long.

7:50 p.m. Now with about two-thirds of precincts reporting, the margins are holding for challengers Janet Long and Charlie Justice and incumbent Ken Welch, all Democrats. All are leading their races. Long is ahead of Neil Brickfield 55 to 45 percent, Justice ahead of Bostock 52 to 48 percent and Welch ahead of Buck Walz 70 to 30 percent.

7:36 p.m. With about a third of precincts reporting Janet Long continued to lead incumbent Neil Brickfield, 55 to 45 percent. Meanwhile, Charlie Justice led Nancy Bostock 52 to 48 percent. Both of those races tightened slightly with more returns reporting.

District 1 -- Democratic challenger Janet Long was leading incumbent Republican Commissioner Neil Brickfield in the first returns posted, 56 to 44 percent. They include early voting returns and partial mail ballot returns.

District 3 -- Challenger Charlie Justice, a Democrat, was also leading incumbent Republican Commissioner Nancy Bostock 53 to 47 percent.

District 7 -- Incumbent Democratic Commissioner Ken Welch had a commanding lead over Republican challenger Buck Walz, 71 to 29 percent in early voting returns.

Pinellas School Board

Final - 9:21 p.m. District 1. Janet Clark defeats challenger Elliott Stern 66 to 34 percent.

District 7. Challenger Rene Flowers ran away with the race, defeating appointed School Board member Glenton Gilzean Jr., 77 to 23 percent.

8:06 p.m. With 255 of 299 precincts reporting, incumbent Janet Clark held a strong lead over challenger Elliott Stern, 65 to 35 percent. "I'm pleased. I'm excited. I'm just sitting here in my pajamas,'' Clark said from her home. Meanwhile, challenger Rene Flowers was easily defeating Glenton Gilzean, who was appointed to a seat on the school board in January, 78 percent to 22 percent.

District 1 -- Incumbent Janet Clark was leading 64 percent to 36 percent over challenger Elliott Stern in early voting results posted about 7:10 p.m.

District 7 Rene Flowers had a sizable lead of 77 percent over incumbent Glenton Gilzean Jr., who had almost 23 percent.

Pinellas School Tax Referendum

Final 9:23 p.m. Pinellas voters resoundingly approved of a continuation of the sales tax for Pinellas schools by a vote of 63 to 37 percent. The money goes to bolster teacher salaries, pay for classroom technology and support the arts.

7:46 p.m. With about half of precincts reporting, voters favor continuing the school tax by 63 to 37 percent.

Early returns showed voters in favor of continuing the Pinellas County School District special sales tax by a margin of 64 to 36 percent.


District 13

Final. 9:26 p.m. U.S. Rep C.W. Bill Young will return to Congress for his 22nd term, after defeating Democratic challenger Jessica Ehrlich 58 to 42 percent.

Longtime U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young was leading his Democratic challenger Jessica Ehrlich 57 to 43 percent in early returns at 7:12 p.m.

District 12

7:58 p.m. Voters in Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco counties are returning U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis for a fourth term in U.S. House District 12. With well over two-thirds of the vote counted, Bilirakis holds a 2-1 edge over Democrat Jonathan Snow.

In this district, which includes parts of Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco counties, incumbent Republican Gus Bilirakis, seeking his fourth term, has a commanding 2-1 lead over Democrat Jonathan Snow. John Russell and Paul Elliott, running with no party affiliation, are pulling less than 4 percent of the vote combined. More than one-quarter of the vote has been counted.

District 14

8:13 p.m. U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, an incumbent Democrat, had a strong lead over Republican challenger Evelio "E.J." Otero, 70 to 30 percent, in a district that includes parts of Tampa and south Pinellas County.

Pinellas Sheriff

Final 9:31 p.m. Incumbent sheriff Bob Gualtieri defeated challenger Scott Swope and a write-in candidate with 59 percent of the vote. This is the first election win for Gualtieri, who was appointed to the job by Gov. Rick Scott.

9 p.m. Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, a Republican, claimed victory after Democratic challenger Scott Swope conceded defeat. Gualtieri won 60 percent of the vote to Swope's 40 percent.

7:15 p.m. Challenger Scott Swope is trailing Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, but is not yet conceding the race.

State House seats

All results unofficial

District 68

Final: Democrat Dwight Dudley defeats Republican Frank Farkas

A last-minute slew of attack ads may have backfired on Republican Frank Farkas, who was trailing in the race for Florida House District 68, according to early election results. Democrat Dwight Dudley was ahead with 52 percent of the vote compared to 43 percent for Farkas. Matthew Weidner, a no party candidate, had 4 percent of the vote. Farkas had criticized Dudley, an attorney, for defending criminals.

District 69

Final: Republican Kathleen Peters defeats Democrat Josh Shulman.

South Pasadena Mayor Kathleen Peters, a Republican, had a slight lead over Democrat Josh Shulman in the race for Florida House District 69, according to early results. Peters, 51, had almost 52 percent of the votes compared to Shulman's 48 percent.

District 65

Final: Democrat Carl Zimmerman defeats Republican Rep. Peter Nehr

8:45 p.m. With all precincts reporting, Carl Zimmermann finally won his third attempt to defeat Rep. Peter Nehr. Zimmermann, a Democrat, got 53 percent of the vote to Nehr's 47 percent.

7:52 p.m. With 33 of 45 precincts reporting Rep. Peter Nehr was still trailing his challenger Carl Zimmerman, a Democrat, 53 to 47 percent. Zimmerman, a journalism teacher at Countryside High who has sought office three times before.

7:25 p.m. Democrat Carl Zimmerman emerged with an early lead over Republican state Rep. Peter Nehr with one district precinct as well as early votes and some absentees reporting.

District 66

Final: Incumbent Rep. Larry Ahern, a Republican, defeats Democrat Mary Louise Ambrose.

Incumbent Republican Rep. Larry Ahern was holding a narrow lead over challenger Mary Louise Ambrose, 52 to 48 percent.

District 67

Final: Rep. Ed Hooper defeated Democratic challenger Ben Farrell

9 p.m. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, state Rep. Ed Hooper has won his bid for re-election with 53 percent of the vote. His Democratic challenger, restaurant manager Ben Farrell, captured 47 percent. Hooper, a 64-year-old Republican from Clearwater, won his fourth and final term in office.

State Senate

District 22

Final: Republican Jeff Brandes wins election to the state Senate

State Rep. Jeff Brandes has 92 percent of the vote in early results in Pinellas County. The first-term Republican faces unknown write-in candidate Raymond Baker in the race for a state Senate seat.

District 20

Final: State Sen. Jack Latvala defeats challenger Ashley Rhodes-Courter

8:08 p.m. With most precincts reporting, Republican Jack Latvala, 60, was headed to victory over Democrat Ashley Rhodes-Courter, 26, and another term in the state Senate. He was winning by 58 to 42 percent.

Supervisor of Elections

Final: Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark defeats challenger Jack Killingsworth

Incumbent Republican Deborah Clark appeared headed to an easy win over no-party challenger Jack Killingsworth, 76 to 24 percent with 218 of 299 precincts reporting.

City of Dunedin

Final: Dave Eggers defeats Bob Hackworth in the mayor's race

8:45 p.m. With 100 of precincts in, incumbent Dunedin Mayor Dave Eggers has held on to his post, winning 52 percent of the vote over former Mayor Bob Hackworth, who got 48 percent. Newcomer Heather Gracy has defeated incumbent Dave Carson for a seat on the City Commission. All of the city charter amendments also were approved.

City of St. Pete Beach

Final: Residents voted to do away with their police department, 58 to 42 percent.

7:41 p.m. Residents appeared to be in favor of abolishing the city's police department and replacing it with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, by a margin of 59 percent to 41 percent, with half the precincts reporting.

City of Largo

City Commission Seat 4

9:15 p.m. James Robinson has won an easy victory over Robert Hunsicker for a seat on the City Commission. Robinson won 59 percent of the vote to Hunsicker's 41 percent.

City of Safety Harbor

8:35 p.m. With all precincts reporting, real estate consultant Richard Blake won a seat on the City Commission with 56 percent of the vote, beating out two challengers in the special election to fill the unexpired term of Commissioner Joe Ayoub, who will be sworn in as mayor in January.

Trump calls father of freed UCLA player an ‘ungrateful fool’

Trump calls father of freed UCLA player an ‘ungrateful fool’

Associated PressPALM BEACH — President Donald Trump started off his first day of Thanksgiving vacation by resuming his taunts of the father of a UCLA basketball player detained for shoplifting in China, saying Wednesday that he was an "ungrateful foo...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Trump speaks up for Moore, warns against his ‘liberal’ rival

Trump speaks up for Moore, warns against his ‘liberal’ rival

WASHINGTON — Silent for more than a week, President Donald Trump all but endorsed embattled Alabama Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore, discounting the sexual assault allegations against him and insisting repeatedly that voters must not support Moor...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Trump offers support for Moore in Alabama Senate race despite misconduct allegations

Trump offers support for Moore in Alabama Senate race despite misconduct allegations

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump on Tuesday appeared to offer support to Republican candidate Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race, saying the former state judge "totally denies" allegations that he sexually molested underage girls years ago."He d...
Published: 11/21/17
Before budget ax fell, Visit Florida executives ran up hefty travel bills

Before budget ax fell, Visit Florida executives ran up hefty travel bills

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott’s tourism chiefs at Visit Florida spend a lot of public money taking trips to exotic places to promote Florida as a top worldwide destination.Four former top-level staff members at the state’s tourism promotion and its c...
Published: 11/20/17
Updated: 11/21/17
2nd woman accuses Sen. Al Franken of inappropriate touching

2nd woman accuses Sen. Al Franken of inappropriate touching

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A second woman has accused Minnesota Sen. Al Franken of inappropriate touching.Lindsay Menz tells CNN that Franken placed his hand on her bottom as they posed for a photo at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010, two years into Fran...
Published: 11/20/17
Senator Nelson on tax reform bill: Small business will ‘get it in the neck.’

Senator Nelson on tax reform bill: Small business will ‘get it in the neck.’

TAMPA — A week ahead of the expected vote on a controversial tax reform bill, U.S. Sens. Bill Nelson and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., visited Tampa to deliver a message to small businesses: This bill will hurt you."Small businesses are the economic engine of F...
Published: 11/19/17
Updated: 11/20/17
As clock ticks on tax bill, White House signals a compromise

As clock ticks on tax bill, White House signals a compromise

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, said Sunday that the White House is willing to remove a contentious provision taking aim at the Affordable Care Act from the GOP tax overhaul plan if politically necessary, a move ...
Published: 11/19/17

Many Christian conservatives are backing Alabama’s Roy Moore

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Alabama’s Christian conservatives see Roy Moore as their champion. He has battled federal judges and castigated liberals, big government, gun control, Muslims, homosexuality and anything else that doesn’t fit the evangelical mold. ...
Published: 11/19/17
Senate ethics, relatively silent, could face busy year

Senate ethics, relatively silent, could face busy year

WASHINGTON — It’s been nearly six years since the Senate Ethics Committee conducted a major investigation of a sitting senator. Next year, the panel could be working nonstop, deciding the fate of up to three lawmakers, including two facing allegation...
Published: 11/18/17
PolitiFact: Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving? Here’s why

PolitiFact: Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving? Here’s why

Before gobbling turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie — or engaging in a well-informed political spat with your family — some of you might wonder where the Thanksgiving tradition originated. We wondered, too. So we talked with historians to g...
Updated: 6 hours ago