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Mike Twitty makes two in GOP race for Pinellas County property appraiser

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

A second Republican has jumped into the ring to run for Pinellas County property appraiser. Mike Twitty, a 25-year professional real estate appraiser, announced in a letter Wednesday that he was running.

Twitty joins former state Rep. Jim Frishe in the race to replace outgoing Property Appraiser Pam Dubov, who is not seeking re-election.

“As a lifelong resident of Pinellas County and professional appraiser I have intimate knowledge of our county’s real estate, geography and market dynamics,” Twitty wrote. “I understand the importance of this constitutional office to our county and that it requires a qualified professional with valuation, management and technology skills. I have developed these skills over my 25 years as a professional property appraiser and believe I am the best person to allow for a smooth transition of leadership and proper navigation of the office into the future.”

Both Twitty and Frishe earned their undergraduate degrees from the University of Florida. However, unlike Frishe Twitty comes with a host of qualifications for the job he’s now seeking. Twitty is a state-certified general real estate appraiser and a member of the Pinellas Realtors Association, the Florida Gulfcoast chapter of the Appraisal Institute, National Association of Realtors and the Florida Gulfcoast Commercial Association of Realtors.

Twitty enters the race with an already glowing list of endorsements. Dubov, the current property appraiser, is one of many on Twitty’s Host Committee. That group also includes Pinellas County Clerk of the Court Ken Burke, former Pinellas County Commissioner Susan Latvala and state Rep. Mike Miller.

In all more than 200 people make up Twitty’s initial list of supporters.

Twitty’s first batch of campaign materials indicate he hopes to “identify areas to cut spending and streamline the system to ensure the taxpayers’ dollars are used wisely, with full accountability and transparency” and “update office technology to increase efficiency and provide taxpayers with greater access to the information they need.”

Twitty’s campaign kickoff is August 27 at 6 p.m. at IRB Sushi on Indian Rocks Beach next to Crabby Bill’s. That’s more than one year before the GOP primary, which is August 30, 2016. So far Twitty’s only competition for the $150,000 job is Frishe, but that could likely change as the election draws near.

Dubov declined to seek another term in favor of becoming a church deacon.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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