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Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri backs Ed Hooper in SD 16

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri is throwing his support behind Ed Hooper. Gualtieri announced Thursday he was endorsing Hooper in the race to replace Sen. Jack Latvala in Senate District 16. Gualtieri said Hooper’s “real-world, first-hand insight” will serve him — and Florida voters — well in the Florida Senate. “For as long as I’ve known Ed Hooper he has been a staunch supporter of our law enforcement and first responder community,” he said. “His background as a firefighter gives him a…

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Bob Gualtieri, Chris Nocco endorse Ashley Moody for Attorney General

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri and Sheriff Chris Nocco of Pasco County are endorsing former Circuit Court Judge Ashley Moody for Attorney General. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Attorney General Pam Bondi during my tenure as Sheriff. Her commitment to protecting our state from pill mills, drug traffickers, and those who prey on seniors through identity theft and scams has made us all safer. We need to continue these aggressive, common-sense initiatives and there is no one better…

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Tom Rask suing Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri over Sunshine Law violations

in Local Courts/Top Headlines by

Pinellas County political activist and blogger Tom Rask is once again gearing up for battle. Legality of a controversial post-evacuation re-entry permit program has led the Seminole resident and government watchdog to sue Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri for violating public records law. Rask is the 52-year-old editor of Tampa Bay Guardian, a website “founded on the premise that independent journalism is important for achieving accountability and good government.” Rask is also well-known locally as a Tea Party activist, as well as…

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#14 on list of Tampa Bay’s Most Powerful Politicians — Bob Gualtieri

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

As the Treasurer of the Florida Sheriffs Association, Bob Gualtieri has become a ubiquitous presence in recent years in Tallahassee during the legislative session, advocating for or against bills involving law enforcement. First selected as Pinellas County Sheriff in 2011, Gualtieri survived an intense battle for the job against former sheriff Everett Rice in 2012, before easily winning reelection last fall. He’s been frequently in the news this year when it comes to immigration issues. For years, Gualtieri has push…

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Ed Hooper to host major Tarpon Springs fundraiser Wednesday

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Ed Hooper, the former Republican State Representative and Clearwater City Commissioner, will be featured at a high-profile fundraiser Wednesday in his bid for Florida Senate. Hooper is seeking to succeed term-limited Jack Latvala in Senate District 16, which covers much of north Pinellas County. A reception will begin 5 PM at Mugs ‘N Jugs, 40737 U.S. Highway 19 N. in Tarpon Springs. Hosts of the event, which currently number about 70 influential Tampa Bay-area political leaders, include Brian Aungst Jr.,…

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House advances juvenile justice bill, adding adult diversion program

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Over the past month, juvenile justice bills moving through the Florida Legislature this spring have veered off in different directions. On Thursday, the House version (HB 205), sponsored by Seminole Republican Larry Ahern, changed again in the House Judiciary Committee. Ahern’s bill would expunge the arrests of juveniles for certain first-time misdemeanor crimes. That differs significantly from its Senate companion. Miami Republican Anitere Flores‘ bill (SB 196) would mandate civil citations to juveniles for a number of first-time misdemeanors. Longwood Republican Scott Plakon‘s amendment to HB…

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Stop using divisive term ‘sanctuary city’ Kathy Castor tells immigration advocates

in 2017/Top Headlines by

In only the past few weeks, U.S. immigration officers arrested 367 undocumented immigrants. But Newsweek reports they weren’t just the“bad hombres” President Donald Trump said were the priority for removing from the country. In some cases, individuals were arrested for offenses such as driving under the influence or possessing marijuana. “It appears that some of the mean-spirited rhetoric out of the Trump administration has emboldened certain immigration agents to act outside of their typical powers, and we really need to hear that if you…

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