Charlie Justice qualifies for ballot by turning in petitions

Justice faces Republican Bill Young in the fall.  Campaign manager Mitch Kates says that the Justice campaign learned a lot from engaging with voters directly during the petition process, and said that petition collectors " noted that there were an awful lot of Republicans signing that petition after we told them we were running against an opponent who's been in Congress for 40 years."

Meanwhile, although acknowledging that he has no idea about the accuracy of a poll cited by St. Petersburg political blogger Peter Schorsch that shows Justice trailing Young by 12%(45%-33%), Kates calls the results "interesting."

(Schorsch does not give attribution to who produced the poll but says it comes from the same source who provided "spot-on polling data during the St. Petersburg Mayor Mayoral race).

Kates adds, "Those are certainly interesting numbers in terms of how close it is.  For an incumbent who's been around for that long.  It definitely shows this is a winnable race. "

There were reports last year that this would be the year that Congressman Young finally called it quits after an amazing 39 years in Congress.  But with Republicans feeling like this in their year, Young declared that he will give it one more go.  Though analysts say the district should be competitive and note that Barack Obama carried the district in 2008, Young has said that he won his seat in that same district by a wider margin than the President, and feels confident that he can earn re-election for his 20th term in the House of Representatives.

Pinellas County Democratic Congressional hopeful Charlie Justice is officially on the ballot in Florida's 10th Congressional District election, as his campaign manager Mitch Kates today announced that he had qualified by petition by gathering more than 6,500 signatures (he was required to turn in 4,443) to the Supervisor of Elections office.

In a press release, Justice said he was proud of the volunteers who helped get his name on the ballot.

" While my opponent ‘mailed in’ his effort to collect petitions, our supporters went out and talked directly to voters throughout the Congressional district asking for their support.  All their hard work paid off because not only were we successful in collecting petitions but we also had the opportunity to talk to voters about the race and my candidacy.”

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