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Josh Black files to oppose Bob Gualtieri in his bid for re-election as Pinellas County Sheriff

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Unlike 2012, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri is expected to glide to a successful re-election later this year, despite the fact that he now has a third candidate who has filed to oppose him in Josh Black.

Black is a Pinellas Republican who lost in his bid for the House District 68 seat in 2014. He earned national notoriety (and a visit by the Secret Service) for issuing a tweet in January of 2014 that it was time for Obama to be hung.

@civilwarcometh@BrandonMArms @RedNationRisingI’m past impeachment. It’s time to arrest and hang him high.” Agreed

— Joshua Black 2014 (@JoshuaBlack2014) January 20, 2014

The tweet created a firestorm, with Black resigning from the Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee at the request of then county chairman Michael Guju. He did ignore tweet from Gov. Rick Scott calling for his immediate withdrawal from the District 68 race.

Black said his tweet was not intended as a threat, but more an expression of his outrage over Obama authorizing the 2011 drone strike that killed U.S.-born Anwar al-Awlaki, who U.S. officials say was a talent recruiter for al-Qaeda.

Black ended up losing to Bill Young II in the GOP primary in 2014. Young ended up losing to Democrat Dwight Dudley.

Gualtieri is looking to be in pretty good shape leading into the August 30 primary. He’s raised $86,555 to date.

The only other candidate listed as running for sheriff is James McLynus, who has yet to raise a dime in the race.

Gualtieri won a fierce primary vs. former Sheriff Everett Rice in 2012, before coasting to an easy victory over Democrat  Scott Swope 59 percent to 41 percent in the general.


Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at

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