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More elections: These Pinellas County municipal elections are on the March 9 ballot

More than two dozen cities have March elections.

With all eyes still on the 2020 election at the federal level while President Donald Trump continues to claim, without evidence, that rampant election fraud robbed him of the race, Pinellas County residents may not know there is a bevy of municipal elections on the ballot in less than four months.

Pinellas County is home to several small municipalities that run municipal elections. Several seats are up for grabs on March 9 in towns and cities ranging from Gulfport and Treasure Island to Oldsmar and Indian Rocks Beach.

The deadline to register to vote in the 2021 municipal elections is Feb. 8. The deadline to request a vote-by-mail ballot is Feb. 27.

Here’s a rundown of local races to follow as the next election cycle kicks off leading up to the March 9 municipal elections.

Belleair:

Offices up for election: Mayor; two City Commission seats

Qualifying: Nov. 25 — Dec. 15

On the ballot: All incumbents can seek reelection as there are no term limits, but no one has filed yet. The incumbents include Mayor Gary Katica, Deputy Mayor Karla Rettstatt, and Commissioner Michael Wilkinson.

Belleair Beach:

Offices up for election: Three City Council seats

Qualifying: Dec. 11 at 8 a.m. through Dec. 18 at noon

Incumbents: Vice Mayor Glenn Gunn and Council members Marv Behm and Jody Shirley

Belleair Bluffs:

Offices up for election: Mayor; two City Commission seats

Qualifying: Nov. 30 at 9 a.m. through Dec. 15 at 4 p.m.

Incumbents: Mayor Chris Arbutine, Vice Mayor Suzy Sofer and Commissioner Jack Nazario

Qualifications: Candidates must be registered Pinellas County voters and have resided within Belleair Bluffs for one year

Belleair Shore:

Offices up for election: Mayor; one City Commission seat

On the ballot: Mayor Robert Schmidt Jr., Vice Mayor Deborah Roseman

Note: City officials anticipate incumbents to be reelected without opposition.

Gulfport:

On the ballot: City Council Ward seats 2 and 4

Incumbents: Christine Brown in Ward 2 and Vice Mayor Michael Fridovich in Ward 4

Qualifying: Dec. 7 at 8:30 a.m. through Dec. 14 at noon.

Annual salary: $10,800 for a two-year term

Requirements: Ten petition cards and $108 filing fee; must be Gulfport resident for at least one year from the date of qualifying

Indian Rocks Beach:

On the ballot: Two City Commission seats

Qualifying: Dec. 7 at noon through Dec. 14 at noon

Incumbents: Vice Mayor-Commissioners Phil Hanna and Diane Flagg

Indian Shores:

On the ballot: Mayor

Qualifying: Dec. 4 at noon through Dec. 11 at noon

Incumbent: Patrick Soranno

Kenneth City:

On the ballot: Mayor; two City Council seats   

Incumbents: Mayor Wanda Dudley (can’t seek reelection,) Vice Mayor Robert Howell and City council member Lawrence Hauft

Qualifying: Dec. 11 at 8 a.m. through Dec. 18 at noon

Qualifications: Must be a registered Pinellas County voter and have lived in the city for at least two years before the date of qualifying. Must submit 25 petition cards signed by registered voters within the town.

Madeira Beach:

On the ballot: City Commission Districts 2 and 4

Incumbents: Nancy Hodges in District 2 and John Douthirt in District 4

North Redington Beach:

On the ballot: Mayor; City Commission Seats 1 and 2

Qualifying: Dec. 4 at 8 a.m. through Dec. 18 at 1 p.m.

Who is running: Mayor Bill Queen, Commissioners Richard Bennett and Gary Curtis

Oldsmar:

On the ballot: City Council Seats 1 and 3

Steve Graber: Graber currently serves as the vice-chair of the city’s Ordinance Review Committee and a member of the city’s Board of Adjustment. He’s running for Seat 1.

Pamela Settle: Settle is a small-business owner and a marketing and communications professional with more than 30 years of experience working with nonprofit organizations and governments on issues that impact the health and well-being of various communities throughout the U.S. and here in Pinellas County. She is also running for Seat 1.

Candidate forum: Jan. 12 at 7 p.m. at the Oldsmar Council chamber located at 101 State St. West

Redington Beach:

On the ballot: Mayor; two City Commission seats   

Qualifying: Dec. 4 at 9 a.m. through Dec. 18 at 1 p.m.

Incumbents: Mayor Nick Simmons and commissioners Fred Steiermann and Tim Kornijtschuk

Redington Shores:

On the ballot: Mayor; City Commission Districts 2 and 4

Safety Harbor:

On the ballot: City Commission Seats 1, 2 and 3

Qualifying: Dec. 7 at noon through Dec. 14 at noon

Seat 1: Nancy Besore (incumbent,) Heather Norton and Lorraine Duffy Suarez

Seat 2: Cliff Merz (incumbent)

Seat 3: Scott Long

South Pasadena:

No election: Incumbent Commissioner Ben Thomas and candidate Linda Thompson were elected without opposition when qualifying closed Monday.

St. Pete Beach:

No election: Incumbents Doug Izzo in District 2 and Melinda Pletcher in District 4 were elected without opposition when qualifying closed Nov. 13.

Treasure Island:

On the ballot: City Commission Districts 1 and 3

Qualifying: Dec. 9 through Dec. 23

Incumbents: Vice Mayor Deborah Toth in District 1 and Commissioner Saleene Partridge in District 3

Requirements: Signatures from 25 registered voters of the City of Treasure Island on petition cards plus a $50 filing fee. The filing fee will be returned to any candidate who receives at least 30% of the vote.

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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