Republican Linda Chaney has filed to challenge Democratic Rep. Jennifer Webb in Pinellas County’s House District 69.
Chaney entered the race two weeks ago, according to Florida Division of Elections records, though she formally announced her campaign on Thursday.
She is a former St. Pete Beach City Commissioner, USF alumna and the co-founder of a mobile mammography business that is now owned by AdventHealth. She currently works at the health care system as a mobile mammography manager.
Her campaign announcement featured some jabs at Webb, who flipped the seat in 2018 after now-County Commissioner Kathleen Peters to forego reelection to a fourth term.
“This campaign is going to be about giving our district the voice they deserve. Our current representative has not governed in the manner in which she campaigned, and all too often is on the wrong side of issues that affect so many of us on a day-to-day basis. Our district needs effective, strong representation that can deliver results for our community,” Chaney said in a news release.
“I know we can protect our beaches without interfering in the economics of tourism. I know we can rebuild our infrastructure without raising taxes. I know we can lower health insurance premiums and prescription drug costs while expanding the affordability and quality of care. And, most of all I know we can provide the very best public education in the world by putting parents and teachers in charge.”
Chaney’s announcement also provides some backstory on her life experience.
She was widowed 20 years ago after her husband died of brain cancer, leaving her as a single mother to a 2-year old. She credits “faith, family and friends” for helping her overcome adversity and inspiring her to be a public servant.
In addition to her business and political ventures, Chaney worked with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office to launch a non-profit that unites the business and religious communities to help women trapped in prostitution or struggling with drug addiction get back on their feet.
Past positions also include working as a marketing director at the Home Shopping Network and as an adviser to adult students at Eckerd College.
Regarding her service on the St. Pete Beach Commission, her announcement says “she fought tenaciously to protect the pristine beaches, keep taxes low and give residents more control over development. Linda also pressed for funds to rebuild the town’s crumbling infrastructure and established the first-ever Environmental Stewardship Board. She also won the right for residents to have a say on casino-style gambling in their community.”
HD 69 covers west Pinellas, stretching from Reddington Shores to St. Pete Beach. In 2018, Webb defeated Republican nominee Ray Blacklidge by 5 percentage points.