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Varied foursome of candidates seek two Seminole council seats

SEMINOLE — The upcoming city election has been so low key, it seems to have barely caused a ripple in most people's minds.

But voters have a wide range of candidates in terms of experience to choose from for the two available seats on the seven-member council: An incumbent, a former state representative, a candidate back for a third try and a newcomer to the political scene.

The two top vote-getters will get three-year terms.

Perhaps the most noteworthy item about the race is the fundraising.

Leslie Waters, a former Republican member of the state House of Representatives who termed out of office, has been a fundraising machine. So far, she has raised $8,150, more than double the $3,495 that incumbent Tom Barnhorn has raised.

Patricia Plantamura, in her third attempt at the council, has raised $2,826 and newcomer James J. Quinn trails with $2,797.92.

Unusual in any small, local race are contributions from political action committees, yet Waters has managed to snag $350 from the Associated Builders and Contractors PAC.

Waters has also drawn heavily on her Republican pals in her run for this nonpartisan seat: the Belleair Women's Republican Club ($500), the Suncoast Republican Women's Club ($100), and the St. Petersburg Republican Club ($100).

Waters' list of contributors is also a Who's Who of local political celebrities: Seminole council member Dan Hester ($100), Pinellas County School Board member Nancy Bostock ($50), former Seminole council member Trina Watkins ($25), former Pinellas County attorney Susan Churuti ($100), and former Pinellas County Commissioner Ronnie Duncan ($100).

Although most of Barnhorn's contributions came in the form of loans to himself, he also got money from some well-known political names: state Rep. Janet Long, D-Seminole, ($50); Seminole Mayor Jimmy Johnson ($100); Pinellas County Commissioner John Morroni ($40); and the law firm of DeLoache & Hofstra ($100). Peter Hofstra is an outgoing member of the Seminole City Council.

Plantamura's money comes mostly from her own pockets, although Hester, the Seminole council member, donated $50.

Quinn is also using his own money although he received $500 from the Seminole Gardens Men's Club.

Varied foursome of candidates seek two Seminole council seats 03/07/09 [Last modified: Thursday, March 12, 2009 8:47am]
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