Janet Long readies for political battle by sending out fundraising letter

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Janet Long was quick to respond to the news that she has opposition in her campaign for re-election to the Pinellas County Commission.

She sent out an email blast Tuesday asking for donations. That was just a day after Republican Martin Hughes, a political newcomer, filed with the elections office.

“While I have quietly campaigned for the past year, yesterday I drew an opponent in my race. That changes everything. I realize I have asked before, but now I must ask again in earnest for your commitment of support to my candidacy, and for your contribution to my campaign,” Long wrote.

She added, “If you’re able, I’d love for you to join me for a gathering of some of my supporters on Thursday, May 19th, from 5:00 until 7:30 at 400 Beach Seafood & Tap House, 400 Beach Drive NE, downtown St. Petersburg. There will be light food and beverages served. I mean for this event to be fun and sincerely hope that you can make it. A suggested contribution is $250, but know that the maximum allowed per individual is $1,000.”

Long, a former state Representative and Seminole City Council member, is in her first term on the commission. In the letter, she outlines the reasons she wants to stay on the commission and why Long says she should be reelected:

“Four years ago I asked for your trust and confidence to allow me to serve as your Pinellas County Commissioner. I committed myself to be an elected representative who would apply sound judgement, management skills, years of governing experience and ‘common sense’ to lead our county. With your support and your vote, our campaign was successful.

“Serving on the Board of County Commissioners, as well as appointments to numerous additional boards, has proven to be a wondrous experience. The list of accomplishments by your County Commission these past four years is truly impressive. We have become a professional, collaborative body committed to long-range decision making that will serve our community for decades to come. I am extraordinarily proud to be a part of this process.

“It is this invaluable knowledge and experience I have gained, both personally and professionally, that motivates me to seek re-election for another term. There is still so much to do and so much at stake. I genuinely want future generations to be able to experience the incredible quality of life my family has enjoyed here for 43 years.”

Long, a Democrat, represents the at-large District 1 seat on the commission. The district, which is elected countywide, runs longitudinally down the county from north Pinellas into south Pinellas, covering such unincorporated areas as East Lake and a portion of Lealman. The district also includes the cities of Oldsmar, Safety Harbor and portions of St. Petersburg and the beaches. The election is Nov. 6.