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County Commissioner Janet Long approaching $34K for re-election campaign

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Incumbent Janet Long has continued her bid for Pinellas County Commission re-election with her best month of campaign fundraising thus far.

The 70-year-old Democrat and former state representative from Seminole raised exactly $11,800 in September, over $1,000 more than her previous monthly best.

That figure brings Long’s campaign contribution total up to approximately $33,458. She formally jumped into the race for Commission’s District 1 seat back in May.

In total, 45 checks were contributed to the Long campaign in September. That includes 15 checks for $500, 10 for between $250 and $200, and 20 for between $150 and $100.

Some of the Long camp’s notable September donors include former Pinellas County Commissioner Susan Latvala, who donated $200, and Madeira Beach Mayor Travis Palladeno, and Dunedin Mayor Juliana Buljalski, who each gave $100.

Past noteworthy donors — all area elected officials — include fellow Pinellas County Commissioner and Democrat Pat Gerard, Largo City Commissioner Michael Smith, and St. Petersburg’s District 4 City Councilmember Darden Rice.

Long’s September spending — $1,233 — amounted to more than her previous four months of campaign spending combined. The majority of it — $1,180 — went toward food and beverages for a September 18 Belleair Country Club fundraiser.

Of the 12 candidates who have actively filed with the Supervisor of Elections to run for Pinellas County elected office in 2016, Long is the only Democrat. She’s also the only candidate who filed to run for County Commission’s District 1 seat — the seat she currently holds.

Seats for Districts 3, 5, and 7 will also be up for grabs during the 2016 general election, which falls on Nov. 8.

As of now, only two other candidates have filed to run for any of the opening County Commission seats.

Sharon E. McManus, a non-partisan candidate, has filed to run against longtime District 7 seat holder and Democrat Ken Welch, who has yet to file his re-election paperwork with the Supervisor of Elections, but has publicly stated that he’ll be running for re-election in 2016. So far, McManus hasn’t collected any contributions for her cause, but she’s only a month into it.

Republican Mike Mikurak has filed to run for Democrat Charlie Justice’s District 3 seat in 2016. Justice, like Welch, has yet to file his paperwork, but has also publicly stated that he’ll be running for re-election. To date, Mikurak has raised over $34,000 for his cause — and he’s only a month into his campaign.

Devon Crumpacker is a Tampa Bay based writer and reporter for Extensive Enterprises Media. He primarily covers Pinellas County politics for SaintPetersblog.com, but also makes time to write the occasional bar review for FloridaBarTab.com. He lives in St. Petersburg with his fiance, Sydney. To contact, e-mail devon@floridapolitics.com, or visit his Twitter page @DevonCrumpacker.

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