Election Day 2020 has come and gone. And while the Presidential race and US Senate control is undecided at this time, there is clarity in the State of Florida and Pinellas County thanks to the spectacular Supervisors of Elections offices in our state, especially here in Pinellas County.
All but one incumbent in Pinellas County won reelection on Tuesday. Linda Chaney, with the backing of House Speaker-Designate Chris Sprowls, has defeated Jennifer Webb in the race for House District 69. The seat was a top target of the incoming Speaker and the Florida GOP and was one of 5 pickups in the House statewide for the Republican Party. The Chamber thanks Jen Webb for her service to Pinellas County and we look forward to working with Representative-elect Chaney.
Chaney, along with Michele Rayner-Goolsby and Traci Koster will join Speaker-Designate Chris Sprowls, Nick DiCeglie, Chris Latvala, and Ben Diamond in the Florida House.
Additionally, Darryl Rouson has won a second term in the Florida Senate.
County Commission and Constitutional Offices
Democratic County Commissioners Janet Long and Charlie Justice narrowly won reelection and will be joined on Court Street by former School Board Member Rene Flowers.
In a nod to the “purple” nature of Pinellas County, all 4 contested Constitutional Offices were won by the incumbent Republican office holders. Congrats to Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, Tax Collector Charles Thomas, Property Appraiser Mike Twitty, and Supervisor of Elections Julie Marcus.
Pinellas will return both Charlie Crist and Gus Bilirakis to the US House of Representatives. Having Congressmen in both parties gives Pinellas a boost in influence in the US Congress and we congratulate both on their well earned victories.
The Pinellas County School Board will have 2 new members after Caprice Edmond and Laura Hine won their non-partisan run-off elections on Tuesday.
School Board Property Tax Referendum
Garnering nearly 80% support, Pinellas County voters supported the Chamber endorsed referendum renewing a half-mill property tax assessment to fund operating expenses, including salaries, enrichment programs, textbooks and technology.
Last Word (for now)
As we await the final results of the Presidential election as well as the fate of the $15 Minimum Wage Amendment, it is important we recognize the inspiring turnout of voters and smooth ballot processing across the state.
Stay tuned for more in the coming days.