Creative Loafing Tampa Bay's endorsements for the 2022 election

You know, after you vote for Charlie Crist.

click to enlarge The cover of Creative Loafing Tampa Bay's Oct. 27, 2022 issue. - Design by Joe Frontel
Design by Joe Frontel
The cover of Creative Loafing Tampa Bay's Oct. 27, 2022 issue.
If you believe the polls, then you’re probably expecting Charlie Crist to lose to big baby Ron DeSantis. We hope those polls are wrong, but the danger in giving credence to polls is that you get sucked into politics as a horse race. Elections aren’t sports, and their results have real life consequences for our friends and neighbors.

How many more of your friends are you willing to see used as political pawns in a culture war? Are you sick of thinking about ex-felons getting arrested because someone told them they could vote? Then the statewide races at the top of the November ticket probably mean a lot to you.

Those Supreme Court justices? Definitely vote on that.
The races down ballot should matter to you, too. They’ll decide your county commissioners and local judges—people who make decisions on your behalf and for the people who enter the courtroom. Other decisions about county and municipal amendments and referendums have a direct effect on how your city and county is governed, what the roads might look like, and whether or not a big ass rec center could land near that nature preserve.

The best part is that if you’re registered, voting is really easy. Here's how to vote in Tampa Bay.
  • Early voting sites are now open in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Polk, Hernando, Manatee, Sarasota and Citrus counties (check your local elections supervisors for locations).
  • If you haven’t done anything besides register yet, the last day to request a mail-in ballot is Saturday, Oct. 29. You can do that by mail, in person or by phone via your local election office.
  • If you have your mail-in ballot, fill the damn thing out and get it in the mail! Mail-in ballots must be received by your Supervisor of Elections office no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 8—regardless of postmark. The United States Postal Service recommends that domestic nonmilitary voters mail back their voted ballots at least one (1) week before the Election Day deadline to account for any unforeseen events or weather issues.
  • You may also return your completed mail-in ballot secure ballot intake stations required to be at Supervisors of Elections’ offices and at each branch office. Some early voting sites have secure ballot intake stations.
Over time, Creative Loafing Tampa Bay has learned that many readers look to the paper to help them make selections on their ballots. While our bias has always been clear, some folks just need us to lay it all out there, so here it is: a cheat sheet to the ballot so you can bring it with you to your polling place or set on the dining room table as you get the damn thing done.

Click through to see expanded endorsements.

U.S. Senate
Val Demings

U.S. Representative
District 13: Eric Lynn
District 14: Kathy Castor
District 15 : Alan Cohn
District 15 : Jan Schneider
District 17 : Andrea Doria Kale
Governor: Charlie Crist

Attorney General
Aramis Ayala

Chief Financial Officer
Adam Hattersley

Commissioner of Agriculture
Naomi Esther Blemur

Retention of Justices of the Supreme Court
Charles T. Canady: No
John D. Couriel: No
Jamie Grosshans: No
Jorge Labarga: Yes
Ricky Polston: No

State Attorney District 6
Allison Miller

State Senate
District 11: Brian Patrick Moore
District 12 : Veysel Dokur
District 14 : Janet Cruz
District 16 : Darryl Rouson
District 18 : Eunic Ortiz
District 21 : Amaro Lionheart
District 23 : Mike Harvey

State House
District 53: Keith Laufenberg
District 54: Brian Staver
District 55: Charles “C.J.” Hacker Jr.
District 58: Bernard Fensterwald
District 59: Dawn Douglas
District 60: Lindsay Cross
District 61: Janet Varnell Warwick
District 62: Michele Rayner
District 64: Susan Valdes
District 65: Jen McDonald
District 66: David Tillery
District 67: Fentrice Driskell
District 68: Lorissa Wright
District 69: Andrew Learned
District 70: Eleuterio “Junior” Salazar Jr.
District 72: Roberts Guy Dameus
District 73: Derek Reich

Florida state amendments
No. 1—Limitation on the Assessment of Real Property Used for Residential Purposes: No
No. 2—Abolishing the Constitution Revision Commission: No
No. 3—Additional Homestead Property Tax Exemption for Specified Critical Public Services Workforce: No

Hillsborough County Commission
District 1: Harry Cohen
District 2: Angela Birdsong
District 5: Mariella Smith
District 7: Kimberly Overman

Hillsborough County Judge Group 14

Melissa Black

Retention of Hillsborough District Court of Appeals Judges

Patricia Joan Kelly: Yes
Nelly N. Khouzam: Yes
Suzanne Y. Labrit: No
Matt Lucas: No
Robert Morris: Yes
Travis Northcutt: Yes
John K. Stargel: No
Craig. C. Villanti: No

Soil and Water Conservation
District Group 2: Kim "Klarc" O'Connor
District Group 3: David Maynard

Hillsborough County referendum on transportation sales tax

Pinellas County Commission District 2

Patricia “Pat” Gerard

Pinellas County Judge Group 1

Delia Cope

Pinellas School Board

District 3: Keesha Benson
District 6: Brian M. Martin

Pinellas County amendments and referendums

Pinellas Suncoast Fire & Rescue referendum 1—Approve a fire district tax: Yes

Largo referendum 2—Selling city property for a potential recreational center: No

St. Petersburg referendum 1—Expansion of Dali Museum: Yes
St. Petersburg referendum 2—Authority to grant economic development tax exemption: No
St. Petersburg amendment 1—Change election schedule: No
St. Petersburg amendment 2—Change residency requirement for redistricting: Yes

Clearwater amendment 1—Bluff development project: Yes

Indian Shores amendment 1—Qualifications for office: Yes
Indian Shores amendment 3—Vice mayor rotation: No
Indian Shores amendment 4—Holding other offices: Yes
Indian Shores amendment 5—Charter offices: Yes

Madeira Beach amendment 1—Qualification and term of office: Yes
Madeira Beach amendment 2—Induction of newly elected member of board of commissioners: Yes

Treasure Island amendment 2—Signature requirement: Yes

CL staffer Justin Garcia and contributor Arielle Stevenson contributed to this election guide.

UPDATED: 11/3/22 11:05 a.m. Updated to include picks for Soil and Water Conservation