It's Primary Day: The Big Races around Tampa Bay

2:12 PM, Aug 14, 2012   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- The Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections is hoping for a busy day at the polls today.

Based on turnout from early voting and mail in ballots, Earl Lennard tells 10 News more voters have turned out so far during this year's Primary than the 2008 Primary which was also a presidential year.

Turnout so far today is estimated at 8.76% as of 9:30am .  The estimate is based on ballot counts from 30 out of the 347 precincts in the county. By 11:30am, the estimates were up to 9.73%.

Robert Ponichtera cast his ballot at his precinct at Jan Platt Library in South Tampa as he headed into work this morning.

"You hear so many times if you want to complain, you have to vote. Really that's the truth," he said, "If you want to have your voice heard, you have to vote."

See Also: Hillsborough County Primary Election Info

There are some big races on the ballots that are attracting voters throughout Tampa Bay.

Some of the big face-offs include the GOP U.S. Senate race. U.S. Representative Connie Mack is taking on three candidates.

Mack's main rival is Dave Weldon, a former congressman and conservative Christian who has picked up a number of newspaper endorsements but has raised little money.

Florida Republicans are expected to nominate Mack who a recent poll showed would edge out Nelson.

In the Democratic race for U.S. Senate, two-term Democratic Senator Bill Nelson is facing a little-known candidate Glenn Burkett.

In the GOP race for U.S. House District 13, there are three candidates: C.W. Bill Young, Darren Ayres, and Madeline Vance.
Young is currently a U-S Representative for Florida's 10th district.

In the GOP race for State Senator District 22, there are two candidates, Jeff Brandes and Jim Frishe. 

Brandes was born and raised in St. Pete and is endorsed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Frishe has served in the U.S. House as recently as 2006 and is endorsed by the Tampa Tribune.

In the GOP State House District 36, there are three candidates. Senator Mike Fasano (currently District 11), Michael Kennedy, and James Mathieu.

Now to the GOP race for Hillsborough Property Appraiser. This race is between Ronda Storms and Rob Turner. Turner is the incumbent.

In the GOP race for State Attorney of the 12th Judicial Circuit which covers Sarasota and Manatee counties, Ed Brodsky and Peter Lombardo are facing off. The winner will face Democrat John Torraco who is running unopposed.

In Pinellas County, the Republican race for Sheriff is a hot one between current Sheriff Bob Gualtieri and former Sheriff Everett Rice. The winner will move on to face Democrat Scott Swope and write-in candidate Greg Pound in the General Election.

Click: Pinellas Sheriff's Race a Hotly Contested Battle

A few things to keep in mind as you head to the polls today---due to a required redistricting, some of you may find that your polling place has changed. You should have received a new voter information card listing your precinct.

Don't forget your photo-signature ID like a drivers license or passport. 

While Florida is a closed primary state, which means voters registered with a party can only vote for their party's candidates, there are several races that are non-partisan.

Supervisors of Elections are encouraging all registered voters to participate today. Some of the non-partisan races include county judge, circuit judge and school board.

Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Earl Lennard says all voters can also vote on races where all candidates have the same party affiliation and the winner will not have opposition in the general election. Examples include State Representative District 61, Board of County Commissioners, District 2.

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