Pinellas County Commissioner John Morroni will serve another four years despite opposition from another Republican, according to unofficial election results.
With all precincts reporting, Morroni has a substantial lead over anti-rail activist Tom Rask in Tuesday’s primary election. Morroni leads Rask 66 – 34 percent.
Because there are no other challengers, Morroni won’t have to run in the general election.
Morroni has been on the board since 2000. It’s one reason Rask decided to run against him. Rask is angry that some board members, including Morroni and South Pinellas Commissioner Ken Welch, have served more than two terms.
In 1996 voters approved a measure that would impose a two-term limit, but that was later thrown out by vote. Rask calls it a moral issue and thinks commissioners should abide by the will of voters even if they don’t technically have to.
Morroni is at odds with some in his party over the Greenlight Pinellas plan that would pump an extra $100 million into the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority to fund increased bus service, bus rapid transit and passenger rail. He supports the measure, citing the need for economic development. The Republican Party of Pinellas County voted to oppose the plan.
Rask vehemently opposes the plan and has been active in speaking at meetings and sending letters to the editor to local newspapers.