A number of key county-wide races are on the ballot in the coming months as voters are only a few weeks away from going to the polls for the 2022 primary election.
The voter registration deadline is July 25 for the primary, scheduled for Aug. 23. Early voting locations will be accessible Aug. 13-21, and the deadline to request a mail-in ballot is Aug. 13.
As of July 4 the county reported 688,541 registered voters: 242,991 Republicans; 237,261 Democrats; and 208,289 listed as “other.”
District maps for the Board of County Commissioners and the Board of Education are virtually identical. Each contains four mapped districts, of which two (Districts 6 and 7) are the southernmost in Pinellas County and within The Gabber’s regular print readership area. There are also three at-large districts (1-3) for which there are no specific district residency requirements; everyone can vote for them regardless of where the voter lives.
The office of Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Julie Marcus recently released a list of candidates who put their names in the hat during the June qualifying period.
Three candidates have qualified for the District 2 BCC seat. Debbie Buschman and Brian Scott are the Republicans, and incumbent Pat Gerard is the lone Democrat. Gerard is seeking a third term on the board.
Districts 6 and 7 will each have one unopposed candidate, since only one qualified in each. Kathleen Peters is on the ballot for District 6 and Rene Flowers is the only choice in District 7. Both are incumbents; Peters is a Republican and Flowers is a Democrat, but both will face zero opposition in either the primary or the November general election.
The Board of Education has two at-large races in the works. Lisa Cane, Brad DeCorte, and Bronson Oudshoff are vying for the District 2 seat, while District 3 is a showdown between Keesha Benson, Dawn Peters, and Carl Zimmermann.
In District 6, the candidates are Brian Martin, Stephanie Meyer, and Kimberly Works. District 7 candidates are Maira Di Fiore Solanki and Caprice Edmond.
All school board races are nonpartisan.
Peters, Meyer, and Edmond made their ballot positions by collecting petition signatures while all others paid the designated qualifying fee, according to Marcus’s office.
Florida is a closed primary state. Only voters registered with a political party can vote in that party’s primary election. All voters are eligible to vote in nonpartisan contests.
For nonpartisan contests, if no candidate wins the majority of the vote in the race (50% plus one vote), the two candidates receiving the most votes will have a runoff on the general election ballot.