The Times Editorial Board has published all of its recommendations for the primary elections.
We focus mainly on races that have a connection to Pinellas and Hillsborough counties. We wish we could do more — in Pasco, Hernando and Manatee counties, in particular — but the research and interviewing takes time. We don’t want to shortchange the process.
Not everyone thinks that a newspaper’s editorial board should make political recommendations. There are valid arguments on both sides of that debate. We believe the recommendations contribute to healthy political dialogue. And given how many readers ask when the recommendations will appear, a lot of you find them valuable. You don’t have to agree with us, but be assured that we take the process seriously.
Some races won’t appear on the official ballot until the general election cycle. In those races, we won’t make a recommendation until late September or early October.
Here are all of the recommendations that we plan to make in the primary cycle. Click on the links to read the full recommendation.
Democratic primary: Val Demings
District 13, Republicans: Kevin Hayslett
District 14, Republicans: James Judge
District 14, Democrats: Kathy Castor
District 15, Republicans: Laurel Lee
District 15, Democrats: Alan M. Cohn
District 16, Republicans: Vern Buchanan
Democrats: Charlie Crist
Democrats: Daniel Uhlfelder
District 20 Universal Primary: Jim Boyd
District 57: Adam Anderson
District 58 Republicans: Jason Holloway
District 58 Democrats: Bernard “Bernie” Fensterwald
District 59 Republicans: Jennifer Wilson
District 62 Democrats: Michele Rayner
District 65 Republicans: Michael C. Minardi
District 68 Republicans: Lawrence McClure
District 69 Republicans: Daniel “Danny” Alvarez
Hillsborough Circuit Court judge
Hillsborough County Court judge
Group 14: Linette “Starr” Brookins
Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court judge
Pinellas County Court judge
Group 13: Kathleen “Kathy” Hessinger
Pasco County Court judge
Hillsborough County Commission
District 4 (Universal Primary): Michael Joseph Owen
District 7 (countywide), Republicans: Joshua Wostal
Pinellas County Commission
District 2 - Republicans: Brian Scott
District 4 - Republicans: Dave Eggers
Hillsborough School Board
District 4: Hunter Gambrell
District 6 (countywide): Karen Perez
Pinellas School Board
District 2 (countywide): Lisa Cane
District 3 (countywide): Keesha Benson
Hillsborough County school tax: No
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The recommendation process
Before making a recommendation, the Times Editorial Board asks candidates to fill out questionnaires and sit for an interview. The process can also include running criminal and civil background checks, interviewing candidates’ colleagues and employers, reviewing voting records and financial disclosures and examining their past and current positions on relevant issues.
Candidates not recommended by the editorial board are offered an opportunity to reply. Judicial candidates may send replies of up to 150 words by 5 p.m. Aug. 4 to Editor of Editorials Graham Brink at email@example.com.
Editorials are the institutional voice of the Tampa Bay Times. The members of the Editorial Board are Editor of Editorials Graham Brink, Sherri Day, Sebastian Dortch, John Hill, Jim Verhulst and Chairman and CEO Conan Gallaty. Follow @TBTimes_Opinion on Twitter for more opinion news.