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Flowers wins Pinellas County Commission primary

Margie Manning



Rene Flowers was the winner in the Democratic primary for the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners District 7 race.

In the race for the Pinellas County School Board seat that Flowers is vacating, former St. Petersburg City Council member and businessman Karl Nurse and Caprice Edmond, a science coach and lab teacher at Fairmount Park Elementary, were the top two vote-getters and will go head-to-head in a run-off election in November.

The Pinellas County School Board District 1 seat also will have a run-off in November, with Laura Hine, executive director of The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art, and Stephanie Meyer, a local teacher.

Rene Flowers

Flowers, a former St. Petersburg City Council member, received 52 percent of the votes cast, besting opponents Wengay “Newt” Newton with 33 percent and Frank Peterman Jr. with  16 percent. Flowers hopes to win the County Board seat currently held by Commissioner Ken Welch, who is expected to run for St. Petersburg Mayor. First, Flowers will have two opponents in the November general election — Maria Scruggs who has no political affiliation, and Anthony Hart, a write-in candidate.

Related story: Pinellas County Commission candidates speak at virtual Suncoast Tiger Bay forum

School board races are nonpartisan. In nonpartisan races, if no candidate wins the majority of the votes, the two candidates who get the most votes are in a run-off in the November general election

In District 7, Nurse got the most votes, about 35 percent, with Edmonds getting 25 percent. Sharon Jackson and Corey Givens Jr., the other two contenders in the primary, got 22 percent and 18 percent respectively.

Related story: District 7 School Board candidates talk achievement gap, police, and charter schools

In District 1, Hine got about 45 percent of the vote and Meyer got 31 percent, with a third candidate, Tom Topping receiving 24 percent.

Eileen Long, the incumbent in the District 4 Pinellas County School Board race, defeated opponent Chris Hardman, 68 percent to 32 percent.

In other closely watched primary races:

Eliseo Santana won the Democratic primary for Pinellas County Sheriff, with 60 percent of the vote, and will face incumbent Sheriff Bob Gualtieri in November. Gualtieri was unopposed in the primary.

Anna Luna won the Republican primary for U.S. House District 13 with 36 percent of the vote, the most of five candidates in the race. Luna hopes to unseat incumbent Rep. Charlie Crist, D-St. Petersburg, in November. Crist had no primary challengers.

In the Democratic primary for Florida District 70, with 50 of 52 precincts reporting Michele Rayner was ahead in a four-person race, with 31 percent of the vote, followed by Keisha Bell with 27 percent of the vote. The District 70 state house race was a universal primary contest, which means all the candidates have the same party affiliation and the winner of the primary does not face opposition in the November general election.

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