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Two Pinellas candidates win re-election as qualifying ends

In a year of voter unease with incumbents, Pinellas County Commissioner John Morroni sailed to re-election Friday without a single debate.

Qualifying ended without any opposition to Morroni staying in the District 6 seat he's had since 2000, representing the midcounty and beaches.

"I know there's a lot of angst with incumbent elected officials. But … when people know you locally, the party affiliation doesn't really matter," said Morroni, a Feather Sound resident who spent much of 2009 battling lymphoma into remission.

The only other county incumbent facing no opposition is state Sen. Arthenia Joyner, a Tampa Democrat who represents part of St. Petersburg.

County Commissioner Susan Latvala faces a challenge for the north Pinellas District 4 seat from former Tarpon Springs Mayor Beverley Billiris and wine and spirits broker Carl Folkman of Crystal Beach in the Republican primary in August. Former Dunedin Mayor Bob Hackworth, a Democrat, awaits the winner.

County Commissioner Calvin Harris, a Democrat, faces a challenge from a familiar foe for his District 2 at-large seat in a countywide race. Norm Roche is making another bid to defeat him, though this time Roche is running as a Republican instead of Democrat.

Nine candidates qualified for the four Pinellas County School Board races, which are nonpartisan.

In District 3, incumbent Peggy O'Shea will run against Greg Hunsinger, a retired Pinellas County educator.

In District 5, incumbent Linda Lerner will face a challenger, Brian David Hawley, a teacher at Largo Middle School.

In District 7, where two-term member Mary Brown is retiring, three candidates are vying to replace her: lawyer Keisha Bell, community activist James Harold Jackson and retired school administrator Lew Williams.

And in District 2, an at-large race, only two of six candidates who originally filed for the seat qualified, according to the county elections website: retired principal Terry Krassner and math and science coach Fonda Huff.

Among legislative races, Nina Hayden, a Democrat and departing School Board member, will try to upset Republican former Sen. Jack Latvala's bid to return to Tallahassee in the District 16 Senate race. Incumbent Democrat Charlie Justice of St. Petersburg is retiring to try to oust U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Indian Shores.

In the Florida House, Republicans face a heated primary in District 45, a North Pinellas-Pasco seat. Republican operative and lawyer Richard Corcoran, Pasco School Board member Kathryn Starkey and tea party activist and businessman Fabian Calvo are waging a closely watched race that will decide who replaces Rep. Tom Anderson, R-Dunedin. No Democrat ran, but the primary will be closed to only Republican voters because a write-in candidate allied with Calvo entered the race this week.

Times staff writers Rebecca Catalanello and Jodie Tillman contributed to this report. David DeCamp can be reached at or (727) 893-8779.

Pinellas County candidates

County Commission

District 2 at large

Calvin D. Harris (D), incumbent

Dale Wade Johnston (write-in)

Greg Pound (write-in)

Norm Roche (R)

District 4

Beverley Billiris (R)

Carl Folkman (R)

Bob Hackworth (D)

Susan Latvala (R), incumbent

District 6

John Morroni (R), incumbent

School Board (nonpartisan)

District 2 at-large

Fonda Huff

Terry B. Krassner

District 3 at large

Greg Hunsinger

Peggy O'Shea, incumbent

District 6

Brian David Hawley

Linda Lerner, incumbent

Keisha Bell

District 7

James Harold Jackson

Lew Williams

Florida Senate

District 16

Nina Hayden (D)

Jack Latvala (R)

District 18

Arthenia L. Joyner (D), incumbent

Florida House

District 45

Fabian Calvo (R)

Richard Corcoran (R)

Grady Peeler (write-in)

Kathryn E. Starkey (R)

District 48

Marg Baker (R)

Tom McKone (D)

Steven Mueller (R)

Peter F. Nehr (R), incumbent

District 50

Ed Hooper (R), incumbent

Shelly Leonard (D)

District 51

Larry Ahern (R)

Janet C. Long (D), incumbent

Victoria A. Torres (tea party)

District 52

Jeff Brandes (R)

Bill Heller (D), incumbent

District 53

Thomas R. Cuba (R)

Rick Kriseman (D), incumbent

District 54

James C. "Jim" Frishe (R), incumbent

Mary Russell (D)

District 55

Joseph L. Graser (write-in)

Darryl Ervin Rouson (D), incumbent

April D. Sheffield (D)

Two Pinellas candidates win re-election as qualifying ends 06/18/10 [Last modified: Thursday, August 5, 2010 9:56pm]
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