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All of the Florida primary political recommendations of the Times Editorial Board
The Tampa Bay Times’ choices in the August 23 primary election.
“I Voted” stickers on the table for after voting at the Coliseum in 2021.
“I Voted” stickers on the table for after voting at the Coliseum in 2021. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
This article represents the opinion of the Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board.
Published Jul. 21|Updated Aug. 1

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.

U.S. Senate

Democratic primary: Val Demings

U.S. Representative

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

Governor

Democrats: Charlie Crist

Attorney General

Democrats: Daniel Uhlfelder

Agriculture Commissioner

Republicans: Wilton Simpson

Democrats: Naomi Blemur

Florida Senate

District 20 Universal Primary: Jim Boyd

Florida House

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

Group 6: Wesley Tibbals

Group 37: Jared Smith

Hillsborough County Court judge

Group 14: Linette “Starr” Brookins

Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court judge

Group 22: Cynthia Newton

Group 27: Keith Meyer

Pinellas County Court judge

Group 1: Della Cope

Group 13: Kathleen “Kathy” Hessinger

Pasco County Court judge

Group 4: Patrick Moore

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 2: Stacy Hahn

District 4: Hunter Gambrell

District 6 (countywide): Karen Perez

Pinellas School Board

District 2 (countywide): Lisa Cane

District 3 (countywide): Keesha Benson

District 6: Brian Martin

District 7: Caprice Edmond

Local referendums

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.

Candidate replies

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 voterguide@tampabay.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.

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