Former four-term Sheriff, Everett Rice, took an early lead in polling a year ago, but incumbent Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, appointed by Gov. Rick Scott over Rice, retains a commanding list of supporters who include: Sheriffs Coats, Gee, Judd & Knight; Sen. Latvala; Representatives Ahern & Hooper, the Clerk of Court, Property Appraiser, & Tax Collector; Commissioners Bostock & Latvala; Mayors Foster, Hibbard, Peters, & Mischler; and many more.
Is Rice’s offer to donate his pension to charity sufficient to ameliorate concerns of “double-dipping” or is it “an empty afterthought” as Gualtieri suggests? Meanwhile Gualtieri faces some firestorms over improper actions of detectives during investigations into suspected grow houses, while struggling with significant budget cuts which forced the elimination of 616 positions.
Democrat Scott Swope challenges the Republican contenders with credible experience in the sheriff’s office combined with his legal experience as an attorney in the law firm he shares with his wife. Joining the group is Greg Pound who ran in 2008 and qualified this year as a write in candidate.
Come meet the candidates who seek the job of chief law enforcement officer for Pinellas County which provides patrol & investigative services, Child Protection Investigation, pill mill probes, operating the County Jail and Safe Harbor.