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BAY BUZZ: POLITICAL NEWS OF TAMPA BAY

Dingfelder quits County Commission race to avoid lawsuit

Former Tampa City Council member John Dingfelder has dropped out of the race for the District 1 Hillsborough County Commission seat. He said he hopes the move will avoid a lawsuit by the GOP, challenging his appearance on the ballot because he missed the deadline for filing resign-to-run paperwork with the supervisor of elections.

Dingelder is counting on the local Democratic Party to appoint him to the now-vacant slot. The GOP says it plans to sue anyway.

Former council member Linda Saul-Sena also missed the deadline for filing her resign-to-run papers, but says she'll stay in her County Commission race. If the GOP files a lawsuit, she said, she'll respond at that time. "I have smart people working for me," she said.

Janet Zink, Times Staff Writer

Posted by tampabaycom at 09:30:59 AM

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Critics cluck at Latvala's plan to legalize backyard chickens

ST. PETERSBURG -- Pinellas County Commissioner Susan Latvala is getting mocked for proposing that county residents in the unincorporated area be allowed to raise up to four chickens in their backyard.

Latvala says it's a good way to let residents save money in a difficult economy while also making them more self reliant.

But a group calling itself "Friends of Chickens" is sending a YouTube video along with an e-mail that makes fun of the idea.

"Please, don't forget to VOTE AGAINST SUSAN LATVALA (and her chickens)!!!," said the e-mail, which is signed by "Old MacDonald" of "had a farm" fame.

-- Michael Van Sickler, Times staff writer

Posted by Times Editor at 03:03:59 PM

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Dems meet tonight to pick replacement for Dingfelder

The Hillsborough County Democratic Party will meet tonight at 7 p.m. at the Children's Board building to select a replacement for John Dingfelder as the Democratic nominee for the District 1 Hillsborough County Commission race. Plans call for selecting Dingfelder to replace himself. Dingfelder withdrew from the race yesterday in hopes of avoiding a lawsuit from the GOP, challenging his appearance on the ballot because he missed the deadline for filing his resign-to-run papers with the Supervisor of Elections.

Janet Zink, Times Staff Writer

Posted by tampabaycom at 04:49:46 PM

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Foster on Tampa tragedy: "I felt like I lost two of my own."

ST. PETERSBURG -- The loss of Tampa police officers David Curtis and Jeffrey Kocab, who were killed in a Tuesday shooting, has resonated in St. Petersburg.

Mayor Bill Foster said this morning he ordered city flags to be flown at half staff. St. Petersburg police officers are also wearing black arm bands to memorialize the officers.

"Yesterday was a bad day," Foster said. "I took it hard. You could see the pain on (Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio's) face, the pain on (Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor's) face. It puts all these issues into perspective. Makes baseball, this Tampa vs. St. Petersburg, seem trivial."

Foster said he and his wife, Wendy, will be attending the memorial services. He's availed any city resources to Tampa as they continue to hunt for the alleged gunman, Dontae Rashawn Morris.

"I always look at Tampa and St. Petersburg as having this close relationship," Foster said. "I felt like I lost two of my own."

-- Michael Van Sickler, Times staff writer

Posted by Times Editor at 06:38:04 PM

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