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 “The leadership and experience in governing has been replaced by self-serving individuals who have no strength when it comes to leading public policy.”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.