Most of the signs at polling places around Pinellas County are for judicial candidates.
Most of the campaign literature being thrown at voters as they enter is for judicial candidates.
One of them, Brian Bataglia, is making his way from South County all the way to Tarpon Springs, stopping at precincts along the way encouraging people to vote, hopefully for him.
“It’s different from other races because people don’t know the candidates as well,” Bataglia said from the South St. Pete polling place at Pinellas Community Church.
Bataglia started making his rounds to polling places yesterday, planting yard signs where voters would see them.
“It was a long night, but we got them all out,” Bataglia said.
One voter emerged from the church with a copy of the Tampa Bay Times recommendations. Without that, she told a campaigner, she wouldn’t have even bothered voting for circuit court judges.
That campaigner was Patricia Matthey. Her son, Phil Matthey, is running for District 6 Circuit Judge, Group 21 against Amanda Colon.
The problem, both Bataglia and mother Matthey said, is voters just don’t know the judicial candidates.
“They don’t have party-backing and they don’t have issues to support,” Matthey said.
As voters approached, Matthey handed out fliers with her son’s impressive resume: State Attorney, 120 active felony cases, 75 jury trials. And the list goes on. But it doesn’t look all that different from anyone else’s credentials.
“People just keep asking if he’s a Democrat and a Republican and they just don’t understand that it’s not about that,” Matthey said.
In the 2012 primary, just over 140,000 votes were cast. About 127,000 votes were cast in each of three circuit court races that year. That means that some 13,000 people left those boxes unchecked.
“We just want people to vote,” Matthey said.