Janet Long files to run for Pinellas County Commission

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As hinted at, predicated and warned about on this blog, former State Representative Janet C. Long has filed to run for the Pinellas County Commission. Long, a Democrat who served in the Florida for four years before being uneeated in 2010 by Republican Larry Ahern, is running for the District 1 seat currently occupied by Neil Brickfield.

Along with fellow Democrat Charlie Justice, who is running against incumbent Nancy Bostock, Long will attempting to frame the election as a referendum on the County Commission. A controversial vote to end adding fluoride to the county’s water system has sparked a vigorous debate about the direction of the County Commission.

“Four years ago that changed,” Long said. “The leadership and experience in governing has been replaced by self-serving individuals who have no strength when it comes to leading public policy.”

She added, “I think this will be a litmus test on how extreme our citizens want our county government to be. I don’t think we want to follow in the footsteps of Tallahassee and Washington.”

For his part, Brickfield sounds like he’s spoiling for a good political fight.  “This race will be a contest between the smaller, more efficient government I’ve been a part of the past three and a half years and a larger, more expensive government my opponent envisions,” Brickfield said when reached for comment about Long’s filing.

Previous to her time in the Legislature, Long was a member of the Seminole City Council.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.