Pinellas GOP endorses candidates in four judicial races

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The Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee has endorsed four local judicial candidates.

Susan St John, 40, Circuit Court Judge in the 6th Judicial Circuit, Group 1:  St John has been a prosecutor with the State Attorney’s office for a decade. She specializes in violent crimes as well as human trafficking and sex crimes against children. She joined the Army after high school. She received her undergrad from the University of Central Florida and her law degree from Stetson.

St John’s opponent is 34-year old Laura Snell who heads the Pinellas-Pasco Public Defender’s Juvenile division.

If you Google St John, the woman bearing her breasts is not the same Susan St John. Ouch.

Alicia Polk, 36, Circuit Court Judge in the 6th Judicial Circuit, Group 2: Polk runs a private practice focusing on family, civil and criminal defense law. Prior to that she was a prosecutor. The Dade City native is a graduate of Stetson University of Law.

Her challengers are Ken Lark, 55, and Alan Scott Rosenthal, 43.

Brian Battaglia, 53, Circuit Court Judge in the 6th Judicial Circuit, Group 16: Battaglia has been practicing law in the 6th Judicial Circuit for 28 years. He’s a graduate of Drake University School of Law in Iowa.

His challenger is Kimberly Sharpe, 33.

Phil Matthey, 37, Circuit Court Judge in the 6th Judicial Circuit, Group 21: Matthey is a former Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy. He’s now an assistant state attorney and a graduate of Stetson.

He is opposed by Amanda Lea Colon, 38.

The candidate for Group 37, Jim Stearns, is running unopposed.

The election for Pinellas/Pasco judges is August 26th.

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.