Leaving an election night party early may be rude, but state Sen. Jack Latvala had an excellent excuse for an early exit from Tuesday night’s primary watch party — the Clearwater Republican was recovering from hip replacement surgery.
Latvala and term-limited state Rep. Ed Hooper, who won his GOP primary bid for Pinellas County Commission District 2, shared election celebrations at the Quaker Steak & Lube in Pinellas Park.
Hooper was impressed that Latvala made the party since he only had his hip replaced on Friday. “He’s a tough guy,” Hooper said. Latvala had hip replacement surgery once before, in 2011.
The party drew a high-spirited crowd of supporters, including Rep. Kathleen Peters, Clearwater City Council Member Hoyt Hamilton and vice Mayor Doreen Hock-DiPolito.