Barbara Haselden, the leader of the 2014 No Tax For Tracks effort to defeat a 1% sales tax increase for light rail in Pinellas County, has filed to run for the Pinellas county commission in District 6. The seat is currently occupied by John Morroni, who has said he will not run for re-election in 2018.
Morroni has held the seat since being elected to it in 2000. he has suffered several bouts with cancer in the last few years.
“I’ve been very involved in county policy making at the grassroots level for many years,” Haselden told the Guardian. “I’m very excited to represent the taxpayers in District 6 on the Pinellas County Commission.”
“For nearly 30 years, I’ve been a successful insurance executive and business owner in St. Petersburg, employing salaried staff and agents since 1989,” Haselden continued.
“After our No Tax For Tracks grassroots effort defeated Greenlight Pinellas, I was named the #1 ‘Good Guy of the year 2014’ by FloridaWatchdog.Org. They determined that our victory saved the taxpayers of Pinellas County $2 billion.”
“The first action I will take as county commissioner is to make a motion to place a referendum on the ballot for an 8 year term limit on Pinellas County Commissioners, with time served counting, so the citizens of Pinellas County can once again get to vote on how long commissioners may be on the board,” Haselden said.
72% of voters approved 8-year term limits in 1996, but the county commission never put those term limits in to the county charter after court challenges to the ballot language. The county commission itself had approved the ballot language. A subsequent legal challenge alleging foul play failed to make the 8-year term limits stick.
Haselden is running as a Republican. The only other announced candidate to date in this race is State Rep. Larry Ahern, also a Republican. Ahern is term limited after the term he is currently serving in the Florida Legislature.
Candidates may qualify for the ballot by gathering approximately 1,400 petitions or by paying a qualifying fee. The qualifying fee for partisan candidates is 6% of the annual salary of the office sought, which in this case will be just under $6,000.
Should both candidates qualify, the primary will be in August of 2018. Since the primary is more that a year away, there will surely be many more developments in this and others races.
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