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Kristy Zinna.

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Judge candidate Kristy Zinna’s car vandalized in driveway weeks ahead of vote

She told law enforcement her Mercedes could be a casualty of politics.

A candidate for judge in Manatee County had her Mercedes vandalized outside her own home last week.

Reports show Kristy Zinna called the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office last Saturday after her daughter found an unknown substance by the gas tank.

When Sheriff’s Deputies arrived, Zinna pointed out the damage. Deputy Matthew Bremis wrote in a report, “I observed a green like substance surrounding the passenger side of the vehicle. The green like substance was observed in the gas cap, on the front bumper, rear of the vehicle, and on the brake lines.”

When the substance dripped off the black Mercedes, it started to bubble and change color after it hit the concrete, the report states. Zinna described the substance to law enforcement as “acid” but the investigators have not disclosed any conclusions about its nature.

The incident occurred in Parrish. The Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate the matter, which could result in felony charges of criminal mischief causing more than $1,000 worth of damage.

Zinna told law enforcement her daughter discovered the car in its slimed condition around 10:30 a.m. Since the car had last been used around midnight, the vandalism would have had to happen sometime early on Saturday morning.

“Kristy mentioned that she is running for office and that this could be in result of her campaign,” the incident report states.

Zinna currently faces Melissa Gould in a runoff for Manatee County Judge. Notably, Zinna narrowly made the runoff after a four-candidate primary, beating out Chris Pratt by 145 votes in the August vote.

Randy Warren, public information officer for the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, said investigators are still working the case.

“It does not appear to be a random act, and we have not received reports of this happening to other vehicles in this neighborhood or any other places in the county,” he said.

But it’s too early to say if the election indeed played any role in the vandalism.

“At this point our detectives don’t have evidence to say this was politically motivated,’ he said.

Written By

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at jacobogles@hotmail.com.

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