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The ballot is set for Pinellas County races

Larry Ahern’s officially in.

The ballot is set in Pinellas County after Friday’s noon qualifying deadline passed.

The biggest nail biter Friday was whether former Rep. Larry Ahern would qualify in the Pinellas County Commission District 1 race against incumbent Janet Long. Ahern qualified just in the nick of time.

He filed for the race Wednesday, but didn’t qualify until just before noon Friday.

“Over the last several months, Pinellas County has faced unprecedented challenges – the spread of a global pandemic, severe economic hardships, and the continued heartbreak of a divided community. Now, more than ever, Pinellas County needs proven leadership,” Long said of drawing a challenger.

“I am ready to continue working with my constituents and finding solutions to the problems we are facing together. I have a record of doing, not talking, and have never taken for granted the trust my constituents have put in me by electing me to the County Commission. I welcome the opportunity to again show that I am the right person for the job.”

In District 3, incumbent Democrat Charlie Justice will face Bark Life owner Tammy, a Republican, in November after Republican Steven Mitchell Homol failed to qualify for the race.

Karen Seel was elected unopposed in District 5.

The qualifying deadline sealed a five-way race in District 7 between Rep. Wengay Newton, School Board member Rene Flowers, former Rep. Frank Peterman Jr., NAACP St. Petersburg President Maria Scruggs and write-in candidate Anthony Hart.

Newton, Flowers and Peterman are all Democrats, Scruggs has no party affiliation.

School board members Eileen Long and Carol Cook were reelected without opposition in Districts 4 and 5, respectively. Three candidates will appear on the ballot in District 1 including Laura Hine, Stephanie Meyer and Tom Topping. Victor Connelly failed to qualify.

District 7 candidates include Caprice Edmond, Corey Gives Jr., Sharon JacksonKarl Nurse and Ricardo “Ric” Davis.

There won’t be a primary election for the Supervisor of Elections race. Appointed Supervisor Julie Marcus, a Republican, will face Democrat Dan Helm in November. Democrats Mike McGraw and Leonard Schmiege did not qualify. Republican Audra Bonneau withdrew from the race after Marcus announced she would run and received an endorsement from former Supervisor Deborah Clark.

Tax Collector Charles Thomas will face Joyell Bobala, both Republicans, and write-in candidate Dan Dahlberg.

Republican Property Appraiser Mike Twitty will face Democrat Trevor Mallory.

Republican Sheriff Bob Gualtieri will face Democrat James McLynas or Eliseo Santana, a Democrat who previously ran unsuccessfully for Clearwater City Council, in November.

Ken Burke was elected unopposed to Clerk of the Court.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at Janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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