LARGO -- The Largo political season has begun.
While national elections weigh heavily on the minds of the populace, already preparations have been made for Largo's city election March 1, 2005.
And some candidates for the two seats on the City Commission that will be contested are already known.
Commissioners Pat Burke and Charlie Harper both will seek re-election. Mary Black, a former commissioner, has announced that she will oppose Burke for seat number one, and Rodney Woods all but announced his candidacy during citizen comments on October 19. Presumably, he plans to oppose Harper for seat number two.
It was thought that Gigi Arntzen, a regular at commission meetings, might be a candidate but she said that having been a campaign manager in the past for both Burke and Harper she would not think of running against either one.
But she did leave the door open to the future, if an opportunity should arise.
A discussion at last week's commission meeting considered several dates for the qualifying period. Mayor Bob Jackson does not like the qualifying cut off early, others did not like the idea of having to qualify during the Christmas holiday.
Clearing up any confusion between qualifying and campaigning, Jackson said, "a person can begin campaigning any time."
On the idea of ending the 30-day qualifying period on December 16, Jackson called that "ridiculous. That leaves half of December and all of January and February."
Burke preferred that the qualifying time begin early to avoid interfering with the holiday.
Jackson suggested a compromise that would have qualifying being December 1 and end December 30. That's what it will be.
Under the law, the qualifying period must be for 30 days beginning molre than 60 days prior to the election. Because the county election office must have ballot language by January 10, the qualifying period can end no later than January 9.
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