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Charlie Justice to chair 2016 Pinellas County Commission

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Pinellas County Commissioner Charlie Justice will serve as the chair of that board in 2016. Justice was chosen to serve as chair of the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners by unanimous vote Tuesday.

“I was honored to be selected by my colleagues to lead the Board next year and I look forward to continuing to build on the great partnerships we’ve cultivated this year,” Justice said. “I’ve appreciated the opportunity to work closely with Commissioner [John] Morroni in my capacity as Vice Chairman.  I look forward to the Board working with our partners as we continue the important work of 2016.”

Commissioner Janet Long will serve as vice chair. The terms begin January 1, 2016.

Justice is currently seeking re-election. Justice is being challenged by Republican Mike Mikurak who already has a fundraising jump with more than $47,000 in contributions as of the most recent campaign finance documents filed.

Republicans are anxious to replace Justice, a Democrat. The board consists of a Democratic majority for the first time in more than 50 years.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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