While Election Day 2012 won’t prove itself as consequential to the Rays as Election Day 2009, it could play a role in how the Stadium Saga plays out in upcoming years.
In Pinellas County, Janet Long and Charlie Justice join incumbant Ken Welch as victorious Democrats, while a pair of incumbant Republicans fell (Neil Brickfield, Nancy Bostock). While the new commission may be less conservative than in years past, don’t expect a big shift in its approach toward new stadium discussions. Long and Justice didn’t differ from their opponents much on a recent Rays-related questionnaire.
In Hillsborough County, the two commissioners who voted against inviting the Rays to the table – Al Higginbotham and Kevin Beckner – both won re-election Tuesday. But it’s not the worst news for the Rays since Higginbotham hasn’t been an obstuctionist and Beckner’s opponent seemed even less likely to participate in stadium dialogue.
The next major election the team will be eyeing will be St. Petersburg’s municipal elections, which will determine next fall if Bill Foster gets another four years as mayor/nemesis.