Dan Tucker won a landslide victory over former Redington Shores Mayor Jay John Beyrouti to keep his position as Republican state committeeman.
Tucker polled about 61 percent of the vote, in unofficial results from the Pinellas County Elections Office. Beyrouti is also a former chairman of the Pinellas County Republican Party.
Tucker, a Tea Party activist, sparked outrage in 2013 when he commented on Pinellas County Commissioner John Morroni’s decision to endorse Democrat Darden Rice for a seat on the St. Petersburg Council. At the time, Morroni was battling non-Hodgkins lymphoma. The cancer was in remission for awhile but Morroni is again fighting the disease.
When the Republican Morroni endorsed Rice, Tucker commented, “Doesn’t he have cancer of the brain … hmmm?”
Tucker apparently apologized, but despite condemnations from the executive board of the Pinellas Republican Party and such powerful Republicans as state Sen. Jack Latvala, he declined to step down.
“They’re going to have to kick me out,” Tucker told the Tampa Bay Times.