Kathleen Peters up by double digits in Pinellas Commission primary


If today were Election Day, state Rep. Kathleen Peters would cruise to a 10-point win in the Republican primary for the District 6 seat on the Pinellas County Commission.

According to a new survey from St. Pete Polls, Peters is the pick for 35.6 percent of likely Republican voters in the district. Fellow state Rep. Larry Ahern came in 10 points behind with 25.5 percent support, followed by businesswoman Barb Haselden at 5.5 percent.

A full third of voters said they were unsure who they would vote for five weeks out from the Aug. 28 primary election.

Republican men were more sure about how they’d cast their ballot, with nearly 37 percent backing Peters, 27 percent picking Ahern and 29 percent undecided. Women still preferred Peters by double digits, however, with 35 percent picking the third-term lawmaker compared to 24 percent for Ahern and 37 percent who said they were unsure.

Haselden hovered in the single digits with both men and women.

The winner of the Republican primary will move on to a head-to-head against Democrat Amy Kedron in the Nov. 6 general election. Kedron is a political newcomer and the only non-GOP candidate to qualify for the race.

All  four candidates are vying to replace longtime Republican Commissioner John Morroni, who died in May at the age of 63. The seat is currently held by Jay Beyrouti, who was appointed to the vacant seat by Gov. Rick Scott last month.

District 6 is the only Pinellas County Commission seat that will be on the ballot this fall as no candidates qualified to challenge incumbent Commissioners Dave Eggers or Pat Gerard. They were both re-elected without opposition on June 22.

The district covers Pinellas Park, Seminole and the bulk of the county’s southwestern shoreline, including Madeira Beach, Treasure Island and St. Pete Beach.

As of July 13, Peters had a substantial advantage in campaign finance. Her most recent campaign report shows more than $133,000 raised and $68,000 in the bank, while her affiliated political committee, Florida Speaks, has another $63,000 at the ready.

Her $131,000 banked puts her far ahead of the other three candidates in race combined — Ahern has raised $57,000 and has $37,400 on hand, Haselden has raised $49,000 and has $20,400 banked, and Kedron has raised $13,500 and has $6,500 in her campaign account.

The automated phone poll was conducted Wednesday and took responses from 439 registered Republicans who said they planned to vote in the primary election. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.7 percent at a 95 percent confidence level.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was 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.

One comment

  • Julie Latimer

    July 26, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    Good to see the moderate candidate will likely win.
    Good to see Larry Ahern shown the door.
    As for Miss “Tax For Tracks” – well, who cares.

Comments are closed.


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