Sheila Scott-Griffin, St. Pete Council candidate, calls out partisan mailers

Don't laugh, but races at the city level are supposed to be nonpartisan.

That's why party involvement in the five-person primary for St. Pete's City Council District 7 (south side) seat is irking Sheila Scott-Griffin, the only Republican in the race.

The other day, the Florida Democratic Party sent out mailers trashing her for past troubles, including having her law license suspended in 2007 and 2011, which she says stem from the same issue. Scott-Griffin has addressed allegations of misconduct multiple times through various media outlets.

In a statement sent out to media, she called the mailer "vulgar and unprofessional."

"We, in District 7 are tired of having people from the outside, that lack knowledge of our need for credible experience and education bulldoze their way into our neighborhoods for their own reasons versus the people's needs," she said. 

She also points out that she has seen a surge in the polls, and that may be why the party feels threatened by her.

So far, most of the other candidates have denied any connection with the mailer and/or condemned the piece.

"The Democrats were trying to get voters to question Sheila's character but all this does is put ALL of their character in question. Enough of these party politics!" candidate Aaron Sharpe, and Independent, wrote on his Facebook page.

It's the second mailer of its kind; another was recently sent out by candidate and frontrunner Will Newton's camp; it criticized Lisa Wheeler-Brown, another frontrunner, as well as Scott-Griffin for saying they would let the Tampa Bay Rays explore new stadium sites in Hillsborough County.

Party involvement in local races is nothing new. Earlier this year, the race for Tampa's 6th District council seat was overrun with mean-spirited campaign mailers, and many believe the nastiness was the downfall of candidate Jackie Toledo, a Republican who had been the frontrunner, even though her name wasn't on any of the mail pieces slamming runoff opponent and now-City Councilman Guido Maniscalco.