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Monday, Oct 15, 2018
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Tribune endorsements for Nov. 4 election

The Tampa Tribune's editorial staff will be offering their endorsements on various local and statewide races leading to the Nov. 4 election. Here are their recommendations:

♦ STATEWIDE RACES:

Rick Scott for governor

If Scott had continued to govern with such ideological blinders, the case for replacing him with former Gov. Charlie Crist, a Republican turned Democrat, would be compelling. Say what you will about Crist's political ambitions and mutations, he cares about Florida, and he cares even more about pleasing voters. (Oct. 11)

Bondi for attorney general; Putnam for agriculture commissioner; Atwater for CFO

The attorney general, the agriculture commissioner and the chief financial officer in Florida have an enormous impact on the lives of Floridians and over the future of the state. In addition to overseeing the department they are elected to run, they collectively sit as members of the state Cabinet, which functions as a board of directors over state agencies. (Oct. 11)

♦ HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY:

Shimberg, Snively and Shah for Hillsborough School Board

Voters winnowed the Hillsborough County School Board field in the August primary, but they still need to make their final selections in the three races. The election will determine who will be entrusted with overseeing the policies affecting 200,000 students and 15,000 teachers and handling a nearly $3 billion budget. The races are nonpartisan. (Oct. 8)

Crist, White, Higginbotham for Hillsborough County Commission

Although the governor's race gets the most attention, local elected officials are more likely to have direct daily impact on voters' lives. (Oct. 5)

Spano, Narain, Harrison, Grant for state House seats in Hillsborough

In the Florida House races that are predominantly in Hillsborough, voters this year will decide whether to return three incumbents to office and fill an open seat. (Oct. 4)

♦ PINELLAS COUNTY:

Pinellas state House races

A single issue unites the candidates running for a handful of state House seats this year in Pinellas County. They agree the state needs to change the law that allows Duke Energy to charge its customers for the cost of a nuclear plant it never intends to build. Beyond that, the candidates offer differing views on major issues facing the state, including the possibility of Medicaid expansion under Obamacare, the use of school vouchers and the wisdom of a proposed medical marijuana law. (Oct. 1)

Hooper, Eggers for Pinellas County Commission

The primary defeat of incumbent Commissioner Norm Roche coupled with the decision by Commissioner Susan Latvala not to seek re-election means voters will have elected two new Pinellas County commissioners when the polls close Nov. 4. Republican Ed Hooper and Democrat Pat Gerard are vying for the District 2 at-large seat, while Republican Dave Eggers and Democrat Mark Weinkrantz, and two candidates with no party affiliation, are vying for the District 4 seat representing North Pinellas. (Sept. 29)

Voters should embrace Greenlight Pinellas

Greenlight Pinellas critics like to portray the transit plan as a boondoggle that will fund empty buses and build an archaic rail system few people will use. (Sept. 12)

♦ PASCO COUNTY:

Remsberg for Pasco County commission

Pasco County voters have already elected one new county commissioner this election season — Mike Wells bounced Commissioner Henry Wilson in the August primary. (Oct. 16)

Murphy and Burgess for state House

Pasco County voters will pick two representatives to send to Tallahassee on Nov. 4. One race will determine who succeeds state Rep. Will Weatherford, the current House speaker, who cannot run again because of term limits. The other contest will decide who serves a full term after former Rep. Mike Fasano stepped down to become Pasco tax collector. (Oct. 15)

♦ CONGRESSIONAL RACES:

Ross, Jolly, Rooney for Congress

Voters will have a chance Nov. 4 to decide whether three Republican incumbents should return to Washington to represent the Tampa Bay area in Congress. (Oct. 10)

♦ OTHER RACES:

Retain Judges Altenbernd, Silberman and Sleet

Although Florida Supreme Court and appeals court judges are appointed by the governor, they must go before voters every six years. Voters decide in the nonpartisan, merit retention process whether the judges should remain in office, voting “yes” for retention or “no” for the judge's removal. (Oct. 15) Thomas and Bauman for judge

Hillsborough voters still have two judicial races to decide in the 13th Circuit Court, which encompasses all of Hillsborough County. (Oct. 7)

♦ AMENDMENTS:

Voters should reject the medical marijuana amendment

It's human nature to want to relieve the pain and suffering of another human being. And there's no denying the testimony of thousands of patients who say marijuana has helped them endure the nausea, the loss of appetite and other symptoms associated with the treatments for cancer, AIDS and other debilitating diseases. (Sept. 28)

Amendment 1: Saving Florida's brand

With the Amendment 2 medical marijuana proposition lighting up political debate, Amendment 1 isn't getting a lot of attention. But it could have the most lasting impact of any decision Florida voters will make this election. (Sept. 21)

Vote “no” on Amendment 3

Making appointments to the Florida Supreme Court and to state appellate courts are among the most lasting and consequential decisions that governors make. (Sept. 15)

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