I wrote last week about the increasing speculation about who will run for the District 69 seat in the Florida House of Representatives. the seat is currently occupied by Democratic Rep. Rick Kriseman. However, under the redistricting plan about to be approved by the Legislature, the seat would actually have a slight (+1) advantage for Republicans. I’m hearing that local Republican powerhouses Kathleen Peters, Mayor of South Pasadena, and Joe Triolo, Chair of the Pinellas County Housing Authority, are both eyeing the seat. Rep. Larry Ahern is currently drawn into the seat, but he is moving to the open seat north of Kriseman’s.
The conventional wisdom had been that the Republicans would wait to see if Kriseman decided to run for Mayor before jumping in to the race. But the way the seat is being redrawn — and the absolute dislike for Kriseman in Tallahassee — has turned that conventional wisdom on its head. Now, it’s a matter of seeing if Kriseman STAYS in the race in the face of a strong challenge.
Very quietly, former St. Petersburg City Councilwoman Rene Flowers filed to run for the Pinellas County School Board. Flowers is running for the District 7 seat which was recently filled by Rick Scott by three-month Pinellas resident Glen Gilzean. (Ironically, Gilzean established his residence in Pinellas by renting a room from Gershom Faulkner, a close political ally of Flowers). Officially, Flowers filed to run on Jan. 27. Additionally, she has posted several messages on her Facebook account about running.
Flowers has scheduled a campaign kick-off event for February 16 at the Carter Woodson Museum.
Jim Jackson, who lost to the now-deceased Lew Williams in 2010 for the District 7, is also running.
Far, far right-winger David McKalip, the local surgeon who made national headlines because of his forwarding of a racist email about Barack Obama, is
threatening promising to run for the St. Pete City Council in 2013. Not surprisingly, McKalip has already handed his opponent a sledgehammer with which to bludgeon him.
In a post on his actually-interesting blog, McKalip weighed in on the controversy surrounding the redevelopment of the St. Petersburg Pier. What was McKalip’s solution? He suggests that “the rights to the pier were sold to a private developer…”
I’m sure I don’t know what the best answer is for the St. Petersburg Pier, but I am also sure any candidate who suggests selling off the rights to The Pier is not going to make it far in city politics.
Pinellas Tax Collector Diane Nelson is kicking off her re-election campaign tonight at Papas Ranch Steakhouse at 5:30 p.m.
Every local Democrat I speak to (that’s not a long list, mind you) tells me that Bill Nobles has abandoned his bid for the Florida House, although no word has come from Nobles yet.
He raised just $20 during the last quarter, a number that would seem to indicate that Nobles’ heart isn’t in the race. And the once active Facebooker hasn’t posted to his page since Christmas.
Anyone else know if Bill is still in the race?
Meanwhile, in this race, a new candidate, Daryle Lee Hamel, recently filed to run.
The Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee has scheduled its Lincoln Day Dinner for March 31 — letting down those of us who like to see the annual event held on a date sometime, you know, close to Lincoln’s day. Still, with JJ Beyrouti still leading the party, it’s no doubt the event will be a resounding success.
US Senator Marco Rubio is slated to keynote the event, but no official announcement has been made.