Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rep. Ed Hooper to run for Pinellas County Commission in 2014

Term-limited in the Florida House, state Rep. Ed Hooper will challenge Pinellas County Commissioner Norm Roche in 2014, he announced on Wednesday.

Even before he was re-elected in November to his fourth and final term in the House, the Clearwater Republican had been debating whether to run against Roche, who is seeking re-election.

In November, the ouster of two incumbent Republican commissioners helped him make up his mind.

Nancy Bostock and Neil Brickfield had sided with Roche in a vote in 2011 to stop adding fluoride to the county's water supply.

Both had lost their seats and both blamed the fluoride issue.

Weeks after November's election, when the commission voted to restore fluoridation, Roche was the lone vote against it.

To Hooper, this was a critical mistake.

"It's not necessarily about what you like, or you don't like. You're there to represent the majority," he said on Wednesday, adding, "I'm clearly a supporter of fluoride."

Hooper, 65, represents House District 67, encompassing much of Clearwater and Largo, as well as northern Pinellas Park. He is a former Clearwater city commissioner and a retired firefighter and has never run in a countywide race.

In addition to fluoride, which he said would play a role in his campaign, Hooper is likely to face questions about a proposed one-cent sales tax increase, which could go on the ballot in 2014. Its supporters want to use the money collected to pay for an expanded transportation system in Pinellas, including light rail.

Hooper said he would not support a sales tax referendum. Rather, he said, the commission should convert the Penny for Pinellas — a 1 percent sales tax dedicated to capital projects — into a funding source for transportation.

He is also dubious that a light rail system would work in Pinellas unless it is connected to the rest of the Tampa Bay area.

Though Hooper is the first challenger to announce against Roche, he may not be the only one.

Candidates can announce their intentions to run anytime before or during the qualifying period in June of 2014.

Anna M. Phillips can be reached at aphillips@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8779.

Rep. Ed Hooper to run for Pinellas County Commission in 2014 01/09/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 11:35pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. St. Pete qualifying ends. Seven for mayor. Eight for District 6 on primary ballot

    Blogs

    The smiles of the faces of the workers in the City Clerk’s office said it all. The qualifying period for city elections was almost over.

    City Clerk Chan Srinivasa (2nd left) and Senior Deputy City Clerk  Cathy Davis (1st left) celebrate the end of qualifying period with colleagues on Friday afternoon
  2. 'Garbage juice' seen as threat to drinking water in Florida Panhandle county

    Water

    To Waste Management, the nation's largest handler of garbage, the liquid that winds up at the bottom of a landfill is called "leachate," and it can safely be disposed of in a well that's 4,200 feet deep.

    Three samples that were displayed by Jackson County NAACP President Ronstance Pittman at a public meeting on Waste Management's deep well injection proposal. The sample on the left is full of leachate from the Jackson County landfill, the stuff that would be injected into the well. The sample on the right shows leachate after it's been treated at a wastewater treatment plant. The one in the middle is tap water.
  3. Registered sexual predator charged in assault of woman in Brooksville

    Public Safety

    Times Staff Writer

    BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County deputies arrested a registered sexual predator Thursday after they say he attempted to assault a woman and fled into a storm drain.

    Lee Roy Rettley has been charged with attempted homicide, attempted sexual battery and home invasion robbery.
  4. Honda denies covering up dangers of Takata air bags

    Autos

    With just a third of the defective Takata air bag inflators replaced nationwide, the corporate blame game of who will take responsibility — and pay — for the issue has shifted into another gear.

    Honda is denying covering up dangers of Takata air bags. | [Scott McIntyre, New York Times]
  5. Former CEO of Winn-Dixie parent joining Hong Kong company

    News

    The former CEO of the Jacksonville-based parent of Winn-Dixie grocery stores, Ian McLeod, has landed a new leadership role in Hong Kong. He is joining the pan-Asian based Dairy Farm International Holdings Ltd. as group chief executive.

    Ian McLeod, who is stepping down as the CEO of the parent company of Winn-Dixie, has been hired by Dairy Farm International Holdings. 
[Photo courtesy of Southeastern Grocers]