With Rick Baker declining to run in the Special Election for Congressional District 13, the media has been quick to declare that Republicans are left “without an obvious candidate.”
Hang on a moment, says Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri. I’m still thinking about running says Mr. Law And Order.
Asked Sunday morning if his name should still be in the mix of possible candidates, Gualtieri told me, “With Rick Baker out, I am more seriously considering” running in the CD 13 special election.
Gualtieri said he “firmly believes that Pinellas County needs to be represented by a Pinellas County person.”
Sheriff Gualtieri said he has a real issue with Alex Sink moving into the district just to run fro Congress and he “wants to make sure that the Republican Party has a candidate that can defeat her and someone who has the true interests of the county at heart.”
“So far all the candidates who have emerged and announced do not in my view reflect that,” said Gualtieri. “With that said, there are also others that are actively considering the race, too.”
Gualtieri is referring to former Clearwater mayor Frank Hibband and former County Commissioner Neil Brickfield.
Asked how soon he might make a decision, Gualtieri recognized that timing is not exactly on his side.
“Mail ballots for the primary go out in 30 something days, so all decisions need to be made soon,” said Gaultieri. “It is going to be a sprint to the primary.”
Indeed it is, Sheriff. Indeed it is.