Often overlooked by the Times and the rest of the local media, as well as voters judging by the low-turnouts, are Pinellas’ municipal elections held in spring of the “off-year.” These elections are important because of their obvious impact on the cities in which they are conducted, but they are also interesting to those in the political arena because today’s city commissioner is tomorrow’s state legislator. For example, state represenative Tom Anderson got his start as mayor and state representative Janet Long was a city commissioner in Seminole.
One of the Pinellas cities that deserves your attention is Dunedin: with a very competitive mayor’s race and three city commission seats up for grabs, this sleepy hamlet will be subject to all the intrigue and excitement that comes when neighbors run for office against each other.
Candidate qualifying has already closed in Dunedin and here’s the rundown (hyperlinked candidates have official websites up and running):
Community leader Dave Carson will be facing off against John Tornga, while incumbent Julie Scales has drawn Mike Quill, a former Gulfport Police officer, as a challenger. Ron Barnette is running again, facing Tony Scrutin.