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Dwight Dudley files to run as judge in Pinellas County

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

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.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at

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