Charlie Justice wins restricted race in opposition to little enterprise operator in Pinellas Commission District 3

Two-phrase Pinellas County Commissioner Charlie Justice received a restricted race for his seat in opposition to tiny business operator Tammy Vasquez, who ran a marketing campaign essential of the county’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

With all precincts reporting, Justice obtained 50.3 per cent of the vote and a slim margin of victory around Vasquez, in accordance to unofficial outcomes from the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Office.

“This is the best task any one could have is to serve the community, so for the individuals to give me that honor yet again I actually sense excellent and glimpse ahead to obtaining back again to operate,” Justice claimed. “The countrywide partisanship trickled down much more than most assumed it would to nearby races, even while it shouldn’t have nearly anything to do with this race.”

The race was underscored by Vasquez supporters who have rallied in opposition to Justice’s vote for the County Commission’s June 23 ordinance requiring confront coverings in most indoor general public areas amid the pandemic. Anti-mask advocates have flooded social media and fee conference cell phone lines, pledging to vote Justice out of office environment. They also specific County Commissioner Janet Lengthy, the only other incumbent up for reelection, rallying guiding her Republican challenger.

Justice, 52, also threw water on Vasquez’s system that blamed the county for organizations currently being compelled to near for months all through the peak of the pandemic. On April 1, Gov. Ron DeSantis issued his 1st coronavirus relevant govt order that confined all activity in Florida to essential providers. He did not, having said that, determine what was necessary, leaving counties to ascertain which industries to near. DeSantis’ later on orders specified enterprises as he permitted them to reopen in phases.

In an e mail last month, Vasquez, 48, declined to make clear what she would have completed in another way. Vasquez grew up in Treasure Island and owns Bark Life, a doggy grooming, boarding and retail small business.

For a third term, Justice campaigned on prioritizing locations of poverty, infrastructure enhancements and boosting small enterprises and nearby companies.

A St. Petersburg indigenous who served in the Florida Legislature from 2000 to 2010, Justice pointed to initiatives that have helped the economic climate and good quality of everyday living throughout his eight several years in county business office. He is credited for spearheading initiatives to open the Lealman Exchange, a group heart meant to aid revitalize the region.

The Modest Small business Company application enhanced the price of products the community govt purchases from smaller organizations from $250,000 to $7 million. While chair of the Tampa Bay Estuary System, water good quality has improved to its greatest “in in excess of 50 decades,” Justice claimed. And he highlights enhancements designed for initially responders, such as “better protective equipment, an current fleet, new rescue units” and thousands and thousands for income enhancements.

Justice’s marketing campaign was boosted with $114,589 in contributions, outpacing Vasquez’s $85,671, according to fiscal reports.

Vasquez attained endorsements from Republicans like condition Rep. Chris Latvala and Treasure Island Mayor Larry Lunn. But she skipped digital forums and interviews with notable groups like Ladies Discuss Black, League of Women of all ages Voters St. Petersburg, the Sierra Club and Suncoast Tiger Bay discussion board.