Pinellas County state House Democrat Rep. Dwight Dudley has filed to run for Judge of the County Court in Pinellas County’s Group 9.
Dudley is a St. Petersburg-based attorney who operates his own law firm. He announced last week that he would not run for reelection for his HD 68 seat that he was first elected to in 2012, and reelected to in 2014.
Dudley will be running against Judge Myriam Irizarry, who was appointed to her position last July by Gov. Rick Scott to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Walt Fullerton.
Previously, Irizarry served as chief deputy and general counsel to the Pinellas Clerk of the Circuit Court since 2003.
Dudley’s abrupt departure from the Legislature has left a heated Democratic primary in the Dem-leaning seat, where Dudley fended off a significant Republican challenge in 2014.
Former Obama administration Eric Lynn has exited a Congressional primary against former Gov. Charlie Crist in CD 13 to seek the seat. Meanwhile, attorney and longtime Democratic politico Ben Diamond, filed first for the HD 68 seat after Dudley’s departure, has garnered the support of Democratic establishment operatives in Tallahassee and elsewhere around the state.