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Qualifying period begins for three Safety Harbor commission seats

The qualifying period opened Tuesday for three of the five seats on the Safety Harbor City Commission.

Incumbents Scott Long, Cliff Merz and Andy Zodrow have each announced they will run for re-election. The incumbents and their potential opponents have until noon on Jan. 9 to qualify for the ballot.

Safety Harbor commissioners are elected at-large to numbered seats on a nonpartisan basis. Long, Merz and Zodrow represent districts 1, 2 and 3, respectively. Mayor Joe Ayoub and Vice Mayor Carlos Diaz hold the other two seats on the council.

Long was elected to the commission last year to finish out the term vacated by former Commissioner Janet Hooper, who ran for mayor and lost to Ayoub, while Merz is running for a third term after he won re-election unopposed in 2015.

Zodrow is going for his second full term. He was elected to the commission in 2014 to finish out the term vacated by former Commissioner Nancy Besore, who fell to Ayoub in the mayoral election. Zodrow was subsequently re-elected in 2015.

Commission seats for the town of 17,000 residents go up for election every three years and the job pays $4,800 a year.

The elections will be held on March 13, when Pinellas County holds its municipal elections.

More than 20 city commission or city council seats will be up for grabs in Pinellas County communities on Election Day, including seats in Belleair, Belleair Beach, Clearwater, Gulfport, Indian Rocks Beach, Kenneth City, Madeira Beach, Redington Beach, South Pasadena and Treasure Island.

Additionally, Belleair, Indian Rocks Beach, Kenneth City, Pinellas Park and Treasure Island voters will hold mayoral elections.

More information on the offices slated for the March ballot can be found via the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections website. New voters must register by Feb. 12 in order to cast a ballot in the municipal election, and those looking to vote by mail must request a mail ballot by no later than March 7.

Written By

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.

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