Charlie Justice wins restricted race in opposition to smaller enterprise owner in Pinellas Commission District 3

Two-expression Pinellas County Commissioner Charlie Justice gained a restricted race for his seat versus smaller company owner Tammy Vasquez, who ran a campaign significant of the county’s reaction to the coronavirus pandemic.

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

“This is the best position anyone could have is to serve the community, so for the persons to give me that honor once more I genuinely experience wonderful and glance forward to obtaining back again to function,” Justice explained. “The countrywide partisanship trickled down extra than most thought it would to local races, even although it should not have nearly anything to do with this race.”

The race was underscored by Vasquez supporters who have rallied against Justice’s vote for the County Commission’s June 23 ordinance necessitating facial area coverings in most indoor general public areas amid the pandemic. Anti-mask advocates have flooded social media and fee conference cellular phone lines, pledging to vote Justice out of place of work. They also qualified County Commissioner Janet Prolonged, the only other incumbent up for reelection, rallying driving her Republican challenger.

Justice, 52, also threw h2o on Vasquez’s platform that blamed the county for organizations staying pressured to close for months all through the height of the pandemic. On April 1, Gov. Ron DeSantis issued his 1st coronavirus related executive buy that limited all activity in Florida to critical companies. He did not, however, determine what was vital, leaving counties to determine which industries to close. DeSantis’ later on orders specified enterprises as he authorized them to reopen in phases.

In an electronic mail last thirty day period, Vasquez, 48, declined to explain what she would have done in another way. Vasquez grew up in Treasure Island and owns Bark Life, a puppy grooming, boarding and retail business.

For a 3rd term, Justice campaigned on prioritizing spots of poverty, infrastructure advancements and boosting smaller corporations and neighborhood employers.

A St. Petersburg native who served in the Florida Legislature from 2000 to 2010, Justice pointed to initiatives that have served the economic system and excellent of everyday living during his eight decades in county office environment. He is credited for spearheading attempts to open up the Lealman Exchange, a neighborhood center meant to assistance revitalize the place.

The Tiny Small business Company plan increased the benefit of goods the area authorities buys from tiny businesses from $250,000 to $7 million. Even though chair of the Tampa Bay Estuary Application, h2o good quality has enhanced to its ideal “in over 50 yrs,” Justice said. And he highlights advancements produced for very first responders, including “better protecting equipment, an up-to-date fleet, new rescue units” and tens of millions for wage enhancements.

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

Vasquez earned endorsements from Republicans like point out Rep. Chris Latvala and Treasure Island Mayor Larry Lunn. But she skipped digital message boards and interviews with distinguished teams like Women of all ages Speak Black, League of Ladies Voters St. Petersburg, the Sierra Club and Suncoast Tiger Bay discussion board.