Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

State Rep. Jeff Brandes files to run for Florida Senate

State Rep. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, filed to run for the Florida Senate on Friday, setting up a potentially bruising primary that could pit him against either Rep. Jim Frishe, R-St. Petersburg, or Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater.

"We need a strong leader to represent south Pinellas. I've shown leadership in the House and I bring a fresh perspective both as a small-business owner and former military officer," said Brandes, 36.

Senate District 22 stretches across south Pinellas, and about a quarter of it is in Hillsborough. While it's a competitive district, no high-profile Democrat has emerged for the seat so far. Democrat Mark Robert Moon filed to run last month.

The deadline for qualifying closes at the end of next week, and it's unclear which veteran legislator will face off against Brandes — Frishe or Latvala. Frishe has planned to run in District 22 and Latvala in the Senate district encompassing north Pinellas, but both said Friday they may switch races.

"Jack and I still have to talk about that some," said Frishe, calling Brandes a "young and ambitious" candidate. "It's a redistricting year, so everybody's got to be a little flexible."

Likewise, Latvala called Brandes a "Johnny-come-lately" with nowhere near the community involvement or legislative experience he or Frishe have.

"But we don't have millions of dollars in our pockets to blow and move up the ladder," he said, referring to Brandes' wealth.

"It's unfortunate that many local Republicans worked their heart out for him to win the House seat just two years ago, when he beat a very loyal guy in the community (Bill Heller) who had a lot of respect in the community just to become another one of those ladder climbers that can't get up the ladder fast enough. I think it's sad."

Brandes' move sets up a potentially competitive race in his northeast St. Petersburg state House district, where Republican former legislator Frank Farkas is considering running and Democrats Dwight Dudley and William Nobles have announced. Republican Daryle Lee Hamel filed to run for the seat in January but has kept a low profile. Matthew Weidner is running without party affiliation.

Adam C. Smith can be reached at asmith@tampabay.com.

State Rep. Jeff Brandes files to run for Florida Senate 06/01/12 [Last modified: Friday, June 1, 2012 11:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Storm routs Cleveland

    Storm

    TAMPA — Alvin Ray Jackson intercepted two passes, returning one for a touchdown, and recovered two fumbles as the Storm routed Cleveland 57-27 Saturday night in its home regular-season finale at Amalie Arena.

  2. Miscue sends Rays to another stinging loss to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays gave away DJ Kitty onesies Saturday night. Then they gave away the game.

    Rays centerfielder Mallex Smith misses a drive hit by Adrian Beltre with two outs in the sixth, allowing the tying runs to score. Beltre puts Texas ahead 4-3 when he scores after two wild pitches.
  3. Rowdies shut out Charleston

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rowdies know a thing or two about stalemates, with five of their past 10 games ending in a draw.

    Rowdies in the first half during the game between Tampa Bay Rowdies and the Charleston Battery at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Saturday, Jul 22, 2017.
  4. 13-year-old Janessa's father holds memorial service at Rogers Middle School

    Crime

    RIVERVIEW — About 100 people sat in the tile-floored multipurpose room Saturday at Rodgers Middle School where Janessa Shannon once sat as a student.

    A mourner embraces Nahshon Shannon after the memorial service for Nahshon’s daughter, Janessa, Saturday at Rodgers Middle School in Riverview.
  5. Trump: Aircraft carrier a symbol of America's might (w/video)

    Politics

    NORFOLK, Va. — With praise and a blessing for the military, President Donald Trump helped hand over the USS Gerald R. Ford to the Navy on Saturday and said the state-of-the-art aircraft carrier will send a "100,000-ton message to the world" about America's military might when it is ultimately deployed.

    President Donald Trump commissions the USS Gerald R. Ford on Saturday in Norfolk, Va.