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Major changes coming to Pinellas County’s House delegation in 2022

Five of seven state House seats in Pinellas will be open, either due to term limits or members leaving to run in other races.
House Speaker Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, will leave his seat due to term limits.
House Speaker Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, will leave his seat due to term limits. [ Photo courtesy University of South Florida ]
Published Nov. 5, 2021

With five of its seven state House seats coming open, Pinellas County will see major turnover in its House delegation in 2022, and possibly a few tough battles.

But only a couple of the open seats are likely to be seriously competitive in the general election.

Two Pinellas state representatives, Republicans Chris Latvala of Clearwater and House Speaker Chris Sprowls of Palm Harbor, are term-limited; their future political plans aren’t certain yet.

State Rep. Chris Latvala of Florida House District 67.
State Rep. Chris Latvala of Florida House District 67. [ MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE | Times ]

Nick DiCeglie, R-Indian Rocks Beach, is running for the state Senate, and Democrats Ben Diamond and Michele Rayner of St. Petersburg are running for Congress.

State Rep. Michele Rayner of Florida House District 70.
State Rep. Michele Rayner of Florida House District 70. [ MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE | Times (2020) ]

Only Reps. Linda Chaney, R-St. Pete Beach, and Traci Koster, R-Tampa, whose district extends into Pinellas, plan to run for re-election.

In Sprowls’ strongly Republican District 65, Republican Adam Anderson has built a big early financial war chest based heavily on contributions from lobbyists and PACs, facing Democrat Kelly Lynn Johnson.

In DiCeglie’s strongly Republican District 66, a primary battle is building among three Republicans, Berny Jacques, Alen Tomczak and Jennifer Wilson.

State Rep. Nick DiCeglie of Florida House District 66.
State Rep. Nick DiCeglie of Florida House District 66. [ DiCeglie campaign ]

In Latvala’s District 67, a potential swing district, former House member Kim Berfield faces two lesser-known Republicans, Jason Holloway and Jim Vricos, and Democrat Joseph Saportas.

In Diamond’s District 68, also a potential swing district, only Democrat Lindsay Cross has filed.

State Rep. Ben Diamond of Florida House District 68.
State Rep. Ben Diamond of Florida House District 68.

And in Rayner’s heavily Democratic District 70, three Democrats have filed — former House member Wengay Newton, Christian David Hotchkiss and Trevor Mallory.

Contact William March at wemarch@gmail.com.

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