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Charlie Frago, Times Staff Writer

Charlie Frago

Charlie Frago covers St. Petersburg for the Tampa Bay Times. Previously, Frago covered Clearwater for the newspaper. He has also worked for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock, the Greensboro News & Record in North Carolina and the City News Bureau of Chicago. In 2011-12, Frago was a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. He has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University. He joined the Times in May 2013.

Phone: (727) 893-8459

E-mail: cfrago@tampabay.com

Twitter: @CharlieFrago

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  1. Lynn's driver's licenses in D.C. and Florida complicate his voting registration

    Elections

    ST. PETERSBURG — Eric Lynn says he always intended to move back to Florida.

    Even as he spent nearly a half-dozen years in Washington, D.C., as an official in the U.S. Department of Defense in President Barack Obama's administration, Lynn continued to vote and kept an active Bar membership in Florida.

    But it's not clear if Lynn, who is the only Democrat so far in the race for the soon-to-be-redrawn 13th Congressional District, was eligible to vote in Florida during this period....

    Eric Lynn is the only Democrat in the race for Congressional District 13. 


  2. Rays' future in Tampa Bay could hinge on one St. Petersburg City Council race

    Growth

    ST. PETERSBURG — The fate of a deal that would allow the Tampa Bay Rays to search for a new home in Hillsborough County hinges on a single City Council race.

    Five candidates are running for District 7, which since 2008 has been held by one of the deal's harshest critics — Wengay Newton, who voted against a Rays pact twice in the past eight months.

    But with term limits forcing Newton from office in November, the District 7 election represents the best shot Mayor Rick Kriseman has in picking up the one vote he needs on the eight-member board to clinch an elusive deal with the team....

    City Council District 7 candidates from left are Sheila Scott Griffin, Will Newton, Aaron Sharpe, Lewis Stephens Jr. and Lisa Wheeler-Brown. There are two maybes, two yeses and one no concerning the Trop issue.
  3. Author of election fraud claim hard to find

    Blog

    BY CHARLIE FRAGO and CARYN BAIRD
    Times Staff Writers

    ST. PETERSBURG — The mystery began with an election fraud complaint filed this week against Eric Lynn, the only announced Democrat in the closely watched Congressional District 13 race.

    Nestor Ojeda-Penaloza filed the complaint with the Florida Division of Elections, alleging that Lynn broke the law by voting as a state resident while claiming homestead exemptions in Maryland and Washington, D.C....

  4. Author of elections complaint against Democratic congressional candidate Eric Lynn pulls disappearing act

    Elections

    ST. PETERSBURG — The mystery began with an election fraud complaint filed this week against Eric Lynn, the only announced Democrat in the closely watched Congressional District 13 race.

    Nestor Ojeda-Penaloza filed the complaint with the Florida Division of Elections, alleging that Lynn broke the law by voting as a state resident while claiming homestead exemptions in Maryland and Washington, D.C....

    Eric Lynn
  5. St. Petersburg approves beefed-up ordinance on door-to-door sales

    Blog

    St. Petersburg----Judy Ellis finally had enough of the door-to-door sales people trying to peddle home-security alarms, magazine, food or offering services like tree-cutting.

    The president of the Lakewood Estates Civic Association said groups of sales people would harass residents, spread misinformation and ignore attempts to, well, ignore them.

    "Worst of all, NO SOLICITING signs meant nothing to them.  And often when they got you to the door they'd refuse to leave.  They seemed to be routinely rude to women and sickeningly sweet and cooperative with men. Told by at least three women to get off the property, they stood their ground and refused to go - I mean, how do you sell anything doing this," wrote Ellis in an email Wednesday....

  6. Lynn highlights heavy-hitter donors

    Blog

    ​Eric Lynn, the only announced Democratic candidate in the race for the 13th Congressional District, released a partial list of donors to his campaign Wednesday. He's raised more than $400,000.

    The Lynn campaign has been busy demonstrating its Pinellas County support---both financial and grassroots---since former governor Charlie Crist said he's considering jumping into the race. The district will likely become considerably more Democratic and St. Pete-centric if legislators redraw the boundaries to include neighborhoods on the south side of the city, which have large numbers of black voters. ...

  7. Montanari still a no vote on Rays desire to look in Hillsborough

    Blog

    Mayor Rick Kriseman and newly-elected (without opposition) council member Ed Montanari met Tuesday to discuss, among other things, the mayor's desire to strike a deal with the Tampa Bay Rays to allow them to look for possible stadium sites outside St. Petersburg. 

    Kriseman told the Tampa Bay Times editorial board later that day that he was optimistic that Montanari, who will replace term-limited Bill Dudley, will eventually support a deal....

  8. Kriseman opines on 13th District congressional race

    Blog

    Mayor Rick Kriseman reiterated Tuesday that he has no interest in jumping in the 13th Congressional District race, but he was skeptical that former governor Charlie Crist would make a run. 

    "Charlie hasn't reached out to me, I haven't called him," Kriseman told the Tampa Bay Times editorial board Tuesday. "I'd be surprised if he ran. I don't see Charlie doing that. To go from being governor to congressman, I think that would be difficult."...

  9. Will Charlie Crist run for Congress in 2016?

    Blog

    Will he or won't he?

    Pinellas County's political class was gripped with that question Friday as speculation swirled that former governor and hometown favorite son Charlie Crist would enter a suddenly wide-open 13th Congressional District Democratic primary.

    A day after the Florida Supreme Court shredded the state's congressional maps, directing state lawmakers to redraw the boundaries of Pinellas County's own 13th district and seven others statewide, Crist might just have found the reset button for his political career....

  10. Will Crist run? Pinellas politicos want to know

    Elections

    Will he or won't he?

    Pinellas County's political class was gripped with that question Friday as speculation swirled that former governor and hometown favorite son Charlie Crist would enter a suddenly wide-open 13th Congressional District Democratic primary.

    A day after the Florida Supreme Court shredded the state's congressional maps, directing state lawmakers to redraw the boundaries of Pinellas County's own 13th district and seven others statewide, Crist might just have found the reset button for his political career....

    Charlie Crist says he has received advice and suggestions on making a bid for the U.S. House.
  11. Lynn lines up Pinellas Democratic club leaders support

    Blog

     The now possibly wide-open 13th Congressional District race still has just one announced Democratic candidate, former Obama campaign aide and administration official, Eric Lynn.

    As rumors swirled Friday about former governor Charlie Crist contemplating entering the race, Lynn's campaign released a roster of Pinellas Democrats who are backing him. ...

  12. State Supreme Court ruling shakes up Florida's political landscape

    Elections

    The Florida Supreme Court took a wrecking ball to Florida's political landscape Thursday, throwing out the state's carefully crafted congressional districts drawn by the GOP-led Legislature and ordering a new map within 100 days.

    In the historic 5-2 ruling, the court not only ruled the maps were the product of an unconstitutional political gerrymandering, it signaled its deep distrust of lawmakers and provided detailed instructions on how to repair the flawed map in time for the 2016 election....

    District 14’s Kathy Castor, now in her fifth term, said she agreed with the court ruling.
  13. Kriseman says he isn't interested in Congressional seat even with new lines

    Blog

    St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman has been mentioned in some political circles as rising star in the state Democratic Party. But, through a spokesman, the mayor made clear Thursday that he's content in his current job.

    The question arose following the state Supreme Court's landmark decision Thursday to redraw at least eight congressional districts, including Pinellas County's 13th District. Conventional political opinion sees the 13th adding southern St. Petersburg neighborhoods, making it more Democrat-friendly. And, maybe, encouraging Republican incumbent David Jolly to bid for Marco Rubio's Senate seat....

  14. Democratic rivals criticize Lynn, county party says stop

    Blog

    Eric Lynn, the former Obama campaign staffer and Defense Department official, moved to Florida more than nine months ago.

    But until this week, he had homestead exemptions for homes in Washington D.C and Maryland.

    Lynn attributed violating the laws of both jurisdictions to a bureaucratic screw-up in D.C. government and paid more than $600 to that municipality to make the situation whole. His wife also contacted Maryland authorities late Tuesday to remove their homestead exemption on their home in that state....

  15. Democratic rivals react to Lynn's homestead exemptions

    Blog

    Eric Lynn, the former Obama campaign staffer and Defense Department official, moved to Florida more than nine months ago.

    But until this week, he had homestead exemptions for homes in Washington D.C and Maryland.

    Lynn attributed violating the laws of both jurisdictions to a bureaucratic screw-up in D.C. government and paid more than $600 to that municipality to make the situation whole. His wife also contacted Maryland authorities late Tuesday to remove their homestead exemption on their home in that state....