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Be afraid of the president, Gus Bilirakis. Be very afraid

Bilirakis could face a tough challenge.
Former FBI agent, federal prosecutor and Democratic candidate Chris Hunter (left) will challenge six-term Republican Congressman Gus Bilirakis for District 12, which encompasses Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough Counties. [Times composite]
Former FBI agent, federal prosecutor and Democratic candidate Chris Hunter (left) will challenge six-term Republican Congressman Gus Bilirakis for District 12, which encompasses Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough Counties. [Times composite]
Published Mar. 15, 2018|Updated Mar. 15, 2018

For a candidate who hasn't appeared on a ballot yet, Chris Hunter is on a bit of a roll.

He won in Alabama in December, and appears to have won again in Pennsylvania on Tuesday. Mind you, those victories were symbolic rather than literal for Hunter, but they should not be blindly dismissed.

You see, Hunter is the former federal prosecutor running as a Democrat against Gus Bilirakis in a Republican-leaning congressional race on the North Suncoast.

Which sounds a lot like former prosecutors and Democrats Conor Lamb (Pennsylvania) and Doug Jones (Alabama) who stunned GOP strongholds with their performances in recent special elections.

So, is this the beginning of a Democratic wave in November's midterm elections?

And do victories by Lamb and Jones validate Hunter's decision to walk away from his job at the U.S. Attorney's Office in Tampa to launch a political career in an area that has been dominated by Bilirakis and his father, Mike, for 36 consecutive years?

"I felt this way before Doug won and long before Conor won, so I'm reluctant to say those victories validate my feelings,'' Hunter said Wednesday.

More here.

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