Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Opinion

Candidate replies: Weinkrantz, Polo, Koller

Editor's note: Candidates not recommended by the Tampa Bay Times are given an opportunity to reply.

Mark Weinkrantz

Pinellas County Commission

District 4

I owe everything good in my life to my military service. The Air Force paid for my college, trained me to be a pilot, to work as a team, and to advocate for what I believe, but always to be "assertive with respect." My constituents will know where I stand on the issues.

My opponent was against adding fluoride to the water and is now for it. He supports Greenlight, but qualifies his position by adding he would rather it be a half-cent sales tax. He celebrates the accomplishments of the Dunedin arts community while voting against funding it.

Your vote will enable me to be a strong and unwavering voice for north county. My reputation is one of being determined and effective. If, in the process, I have ruffled some feathers, I won't apologize. Leadership is having the strength to make the tough choices.

Melissa Polo

Hillsborough Circuit Court

Group 34

Melissa "Missy" Polo is the better judicial candidate in Group 34 for the following necessary truths:

• Polo has the most trial experience and the most legally diverse background, having prosecuted and defended thousands of cases throughout all areas over which circuit court judges preside.

• Polo has advocated for justice full-time for over 18 years and is the only candidate who has maintained an active circuit civil and criminal practice for nearly 15 years, bringing the most knowledge of relevant courtroom procedure into the race;

• She is the only candidate who has operated her own law practice, managing many responsibilities while professionally and ethically representing her clients;

• Polo's list of supporters from legal professionals practicing in Hillsborough County far exceeds her opponent's; and

• Polo will bring confidence and trust to our justice system by upholding the law and not advancing a political agenda.

Dave Koller

U.S. House

District 11

Richard Nugent was awarded his seat in Congress when Ginny Brown-Waite withdrew on the last day of filing in 2010 and endorsed him. He qualified merely by paying the $10,440 filing fee just before deadline. I went to the people to collect signatures in support for my candidacy.

Avoiding big money and corporations, I am running a grass-roots campaign focused on representing and improving the lives of fellow citizens and on a spirit of compromise to end the gridlock in Congress.