Another redistricting domino falls: Rep. Larry Ahern switching seats to run for open District 66

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State Rep. Larry Ahern has announced his intention to file as a candidate for State House in the proposed House District 66.

“I look forward to continuing to represent the residents in west central Pinellas County,” Ahern said. ”The Florida Legislature has made much progress  – and continues to do so – in helping to improve the state’s economic climate. Jobs and the economy will continue to be my priority.”

Rep. Ahern’s announcement comes as the Florida House passed new State House boundaries in the once-in-a-decade task of redistricting. “It’s an enormous responsibility drawing new political boundaries for all of Florida,” Ahern said. ”I think Chairman Weatherford did an outstanding job of soliciting public input and making the process open and honest.”

A 35-year resident of Pinellas County, Rep. Ahern’s decision to run for proposed House District 66 was based on the fact that the proposed district includes many of the dedicated volunteers and communities he now represents: “My wife and I, along with a large group of volunteers, knocked on more than 10,000 doors last election, a big portion of those in Seminole and Largo,” Ahern said. ”I feel it’s my responsibility to continue to serve the same people who not only elected me to office, but shared their stories and concerns with us on their front porches.”

Though the final maps have not been approved by the Supreme Court, the proposed maps put the communities of Seminole, Indian Shores, Indian Rocks Beach, Belleair, Belleair Shore, Belleair Beach, Belleair Bluffs, and parts of Clearwater and Largo into the same legislative district. “It’s tough to lose any part of my current district because each neighborhood is so unique and special,” Ahern said. ”I’ve met so many inspiring and supportive people, and I hope to continue to represent many of those same individuals come November 2012.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.