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Unions line up behind candidates

The local police union has announced its endorsements for some state House races, and they're backing two vastly different candidates. In the District 57 race, a seat that covers south Tampa, the West Central Florida Police Benevolent Association has thrown its weight behind Stacy Frank. She's the only Democrat in the race, which includes Republicans Dana Young, Todd Marks and Dan Molloy. Frank is a straight-ahead Dem who is tight with the party establishment and likes to point out that she adamantly opposed off-shore oil drilling long before the Deepwater Horizon Disaster. She also has the endorsement of the local firefighters union.

At the other end of the spectrum, the PBA has endorsed James Grant in District 47, which includes north Tampa. In his stump speeches Grant speaks passionately about limiting government. A common refrain for him on the trail and in his campaign literature: "There are some in leadership who believe that government can run your business, raise your children, and spend your money better than you can." He's facing Irene Guy, Brian Blair and Tom Aderhold in the Republican primary. The winner will take on Democrat Michael Steinberg in the general election.

And finally, the AFL/CIO and AFSCME have endorsed David Chalela, a Democrat running for the District 56 seat that represents Brandon. He'll face the winner of the Republican primary, which pits incumbent Rachel Burgin against dentist Marc Johnson, and write-in candidate Lewis Laricchia in November.

Janet Zink, Times staff writer

Posted by tampabaycom at 05:58:23 PM on July 6, 2010

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New location set for Pinellas GOP meeting

With the closure of Tucson's Southwest Grill, the Pinellas County Republican Party will meet Monday at the Marriott hotel, 12600 Roosevelt Blvd., party chairman Jay Beyrouti said in an e-mail. The time is still listed at 7 p.m.

The party had met in recent years Tucson's, which shut down over the weekend..

David DeCamp, Times staff writer

Posted by Times Editor at 01:50:02 PM on July 6, 2010

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Amid layoffs, Pinellas seeks people to work for free

Dan Postman of Seminole, a guide at the Heritage Village museum, is an ideal worker. He's great with people, he's a quick learner and he's enthusiastic.

"He's got a lot of information in his head," said Heather Curry of Lakeland, who recently visited the county museum with her daughter, Alexandria, 6. "Otherwise, I wouldn't know what I was looking at."

Most important: Postman, 77, works for free.

In a time of budget cuts and hiring freezes, the county is stepping up efforts to add volunteers to its ranks.

David DeCamp, Times staff writer

Posted by Times Editor at 10:44:50 AM on July 6, 2010