Pinellas Commissioner John Morroni: ‘If I stay healthy, I’m running for re-election in 2014’

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What a difference a year has made for Pinellas County Commissioner John Morroni.

Last year, at his 17th annual appreciation dinner for local law enforcement, the affable Republican pol all collapsed from dehydration, a side effect of the chemotherapy he was undergoing to fight non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

Still, that chemotherapy was saving Morroni’s life. The therapy was having an effect. The malignant tumor was shrinking. And so, this year, after months of recovery and recuperation, Morroni presided over his law enforcement appreciation event with no issues.

If you saw John then or at Commission meetings or buzzing about town, you can literally see the vitality returned to his. He’s doing well again. It’s been a tough time for John, but he’s better.

I spoke with John on Wednesday about what the future holds for him. Specifically, is he interested in serving another term on the County Commission? The rumor making its way around Court Street was that John was not running again in 2014. Heck, John pretty much said that to some of his colleagues on the Commission. This was it; two more years on the Commission and then John would retire from a career of public service.

But with his health better and his joie de vivre restored, John Morroni tells mes that if his health remains in good shape, he is running for re-election in 2014.

Unfortunately, it’s not just his health which has Morroni worried. He’s also concerned about the lawsuit seeking to impose term limits on the County Commission. There is the possibility that if the suit is successful, Morroni and some of his colleagues would be immediately removed from office and/or prevented from running again. The uncertainty of the court case has already prompted Commissioner Ken Welch to re-evaluate his future on the board.

Still, when you think about what Morroni has gone through over the past few years to get here, a (frivolous) lawsuit is not going to change his attitude. Johnny’s back! Hopefully, he can stay awhile. 

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.