Palm Harbor group to hold forum Thursday for area candidates

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Voters will get a chance to question Republican candidates hoping to represent Northern Pinellas at a forum an area community group will hold next week.

The Palm Harbor Coalition will conduct a forum at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 12, at the Palm Harbor Activity Center, 1500 16th St., off Nebraska Avenue.

The coalition will accept questions for the candidates by e-mail at PHC2010ForumQuestions@live.com until the deadline of Aug. 9.

The 2010 primary election in Florida will be held Tuesday, Aug. 24. Races for various state, federal and local offices will be on the ballot.

In the County Commission District 4 race, 10-year incumbent Susan Latvala of Palm Harbor is being challenged in the primary by fellow Republicans Carl Folkman, a former Crystal Beach Community Association board member, and former Tarpon Springs Mayor Beverley Billiris.

The winner of the District 4 GOP primary will meet Democrat Bob Hackworth, a former mayor of Dunedin, in the Nov. 2 general election.

In the race for the District 45 Florida House seat, three Republicans and a write-in candidate are vying to succeed state Rep. Tom Anderson, R-Dunedin. Anderson could not seek re-election because of term limits.

The GOP candidates in the District 45 contest are: Fabian Calvo of Palm Harbor, owner of Calvo Management International; Richard Corcoran, a Trinity-area attorney; and Kathryn E. Starkey, who has resigned her seat on the Pasco County School Board to run for the Legislature.

By qualifying as a write-in candidate, Grady Peeler, a Republican from the Trinity area, will effectively keep Democrats from voting in the District 45 contest. State election law would have allowed Democrats to vote in the District 45 GOP primary because no Democrat qualified had Peeler not entered the race as a write-in candidate.

In the District 48 Florida House race, state Rep. Peter F. Nehr, R-Tarpon Springs, faces a re-election challenge from Marg Baker, a Palm Harbor-area real estate broker, and Steven Mueller of Palm Harbor, who advises companies on the financial crisis.

The winner of the District 48 Republican primary will meet Democrat Tom McKone of Tarpon Springs in the general election.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.