For a long time, Charlie Justice was one of the most promising local Democrats with a political future in Pinellas County. Elected to the state House in 2000 and the Senate in 2006, Justice was most likely assured another term in Tallahassee in 2010 when he decided to leave that body and take on what has become the impossible — beating Congressman Bill Young.
Justice didn't do that. In fact he didn't come close. But while continuing to work at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg — under the gaudy title of assistant director of leadership — he plotted his comeback on a lower scale (though not salary wise), opting to run for a Pinellas County Commission seat last fall against GOP incumbent Nancy Bostock.
Using her vote for removing fluoride from the drinking supply as his main attack weapon, Justice eked out a four-point victory last fall.
Monday night at the Pinellas County Democratic Inauguration Ball, Justice talked about his goals now that he's working in local government.