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Is Linda Stewart running for Senate? Website holds clue

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

For Linda Stewart, the secret might be out.

Although the former Orange County commissioner and state representative has not officially announced intentions for 2016, a new website — lindastewartforsenate.com – may have let it slip.

Campaign website notwithstanding, Stewart’s announcement brings little surprise; for several months, she had been hinting at a run.

Signifying a potential campaign does serve another purpose – as a warning to Rick Roach, who has been campaigning for the House District 13 seat for nearly a year.

Roach, the former Orange County School Board member, had talked with Stewart about the possibility of her entering the race, reports Frank Torres of Orlando-Politics.com.

If she runs, Stewart faces a Republican field that includes Dean Asher and Chuck Sheridan, who have both filed. Another possibility is the inclusion of Camille Gardiner, who could run to replace her husband in SD 13, the term-limited Senate President Andy Gardiner. Another hint at a possible campaign is that both Gardiners have increased their visibility at several local political events.

Term-limited after serving eight years on the Orange County Commission, Stewart briefly campaigned for state Senate District 12, changing to House District 47, where she won and served a single term. Last November, Stewart lost her re-election bid to state Rep. Mike Miller.

Stewart’s WordPress site is not yet fully completed, but it does include her resume of legislative and public service, as well as affiliations and other highlights.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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