Dunedin Mayor Eggers edges out crowded field for GOP nom. in Pinellas Commission race

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Dunedin Mayor Dave Eggers is winning against six other candidates in a crowded Republican primary for the District 6 County Commission race.

With all precincts reporting, Eggers commanded the race with 30 percent of the vote. His next closest challengers are former State Rep. Peter Nehr and retired dentist Johnny Johnson with 22 percent and 21 percent respectively.

Eggers could replace outgoing commissioner Susan Latvala who decided not to run for re-election.

If the numbers hold, he’ll face Democrat Mark Weinkrantz and two no party affiliation candidates: Marcus Harrison and Carl Folkman in the Nov. 4 General Election.

The North Pinellas district is highly conservative, making the Republican candidate a presumptive front-runner.

Eggers’ primary campaign focused on jobs.

“Unemployment might be at 6 percent, but there’s a lot of people that have taken themselves out of the market,” Eggers said. He suggested several ways to bring more high-wage jobs to the county including cutting red tape, working with other municipalities both in and out of the county and consider the needs of individual districts.

On Greenlight Pinellas, Eggers was an initial naysayer on the transit referendum. As a conservative, he feared putting a tax increase before voters. He initially suggested proposing a half penny sales tax increase instead of the full penny that will appear on the Nov. 4 ballot. However, he recognizes the need for changes to the county’s public transportation and will vote for the referendum even though he’s not sold on the viability of rail in Pinellas.

Also running in this race was Tim Keffalas, Wanda Kimsey, Macho Liberti and Jim Ronecker.

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.