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Mike Twitty continues to gain steam in race for Pinellas property appraiser

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The amount of funding Mike Twitty‘s received for his 2016 Pinellas property appraiser run is about as impressive of a feat as there’s been this early in the county election game.

So far, the 48-year-old Republican and state-certified general real estate appraiser from Largo has hauled in a whopping $50,030 for his campaign. Historically speaking, only three other county office candidates since 2006 have raised those kind of numbers in one reporting period.

What might be more impressive still: the amount of high-profile support Twitty has received in his bid for elected office.

To date, Twitty’s nabbed the endorsement of outgoing Pinellas Property Appraiser Pam Dubov, state Sen. Jeff Brandes, St. Petersburg Councilman-elect Ed Montanari, Pinellas County Clerk of the Court Ken Burke, and former Pinellas County Commissioner Susan Latvala.

“Mike’s got all the assets that we need for this important office,” said Montanari during a Twitty event held yesterday evening at Green Bench Brewing in St. Pete. “He’s got the experience, he’s got the know-how, he’s got the education, the intelligence, the integrity to serve us well.”

Twitty’s competition for the job is no slouch though.

As of October 1, the only other candidate filed to run for Pinellas’ property appraiser is 66-year-old fellow Republican and former state Rep. Jim Frishe, who raised an impressive $24,000 for his own campaign before it was even formally launched on September 29 — a move that was accompanied by an upgrade to Frishe’s website and social media platforms.

However, despite this being Twitty’s first run at elected office and Frishe’s (at least) fourth, Twitty, who has professionally appraised real estate for over two decades, welcomes the job experience conversation.

“I have the proper evaluation, management and technical background,” said Twitty before looking toward the future. “[Pam Dubov] has set a very high bar within the property appraiser’s office. But I […] think I can move it a little bit higher.”

Twitty, during his address to supporters, stopped short of going into heavy policy details, but did mention flood insurance as an issue that’s “going to impact a lot of us,” and one that “we all need to look at carefully.”

Sen. Brandes, who was in attendance, was most likely on-board with the comments, as he recently called for FEMA to release data from flood insurance policies under the National Flood Insurance Program to determine whether or not the premiums assessed for policies are excessive or arbitrarily assigned.

“I’m worried about equity erosion to people’s homes,” Twitty said candidly before thanking his family and everyone else in attendance for being there.

September’s finance reports for all candidates filed to run for Pinellas County elected office will be coming in throughout the first week and a half or so of October.

Pinellas County’s 2016 general election falls on November 8.

Devon Crumpacker is a Tampa Bay based writer and reporter for Extensive Enterprises Media. He primarily covers Pinellas County politics for SaintPetersblog.com, but also makes time to write the occasional bar review for FloridaBarTab.com. He lives in St. Petersburg with his fiance, Sydney. To contact, e-mail devon@floridapolitics.com, or visit his Twitter page @DevonCrumpacker.

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