St. Pete attorney Nina Hayden is aware of what some folks in Tampa Bay area politics say about her latest run for office.
After winning a seat on the Pinellas County School board in 2008 that came back up for re-election in 2010, Hayden opted instead to run as the Democrat in the state Senate district 16 race against Republican Jack Latvala after Charlie Justice moved on for a run for Congress. Latvala beat her easily in that 2010 contest.
Now Hayden is running for the Democratic nomination for Congress in Pinellas, with the winner to take on 40-year-plus incumbent Bill Young, and some of that same criticism is percolating: that Nina Hayden is taking on too much, too soon.
The 37-year-old attorney isn't having any of that.
"It’s up to the candidate to decide when their time is, and I don’t mind people commenting and having their opinion," she told CL at a campaign kickoff fundraiser held on her behalf Tuesday night at the Hilton at Carillon in St. Petersburg.
"They’re more than welcome to their opinion, but for me it’s a personal decision that has to be made. Nobody knows my personal circumstances, and I tell people and I’ve shown them over and over again I’m an advocate for the community, there was no one locally that was stepping up to the plate that was going to run for this Congressional seat. And I believe I’m a viable candidate."