State justice Peggy Quince uncomfortable with campaigning to keep seat

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Peggy Quince and two fellow justices, R. Fred Lewis and Barbara Pariente, face merit retention elections this year, as they each have twice before. Typically, these elections are unremarkable affairs, with no money spent, no campaigns and virtually no question about the likely outcome.

Quince isn’t used to asking people for their votes.

When she spoke to the Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers, Quince talked about the history of the state’s merit retention system for appellate judges, the importance of an impartial judiciary and the need for people to vote in every election on the ballot, including those questions – such as her own – at the very bottom.

But Quince didn’t ask her audience to vote yes on whether she should be retained.

“I am a little uncomfortable with it at all,” Quince said with a laugh, “and quite frankly I got kind of caught up in talking about voting that I just – I forgot that one sentence.”

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, 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.