Pasco and Hillsborough County voters have begun making their choices, through early voting sites and mail-in ballots, to decide the outcome of the 2022 General Election.
Voters will make decisions on a broad array of issues.
In Pasco, the races for Pasco County Commission already have been decided, with Seth Weightman claiming the District 2 seat being vacated by Mike Moore; and Gary H. Bradford winning the District 4 seat occupied by Christina Fitzpatrick. A write-in candidate for District 4 has withdrawn.
The race for District 1 of the Pasco County School Board finds Al Hernandez facing James M. Washington.
A judge had determined that Hernandez was ineligible, ruling that he did not meet the residency requirements, but Hernandez appealed that ruling and was granted a stay — enabling him to remain on the ballot, pending the outcome of the appeal.
Whoever wins that race will fill the seat being vacated by Allen Altman, who is retiring from public office. Incumbent school board members Cynthia Armstrong and Megan Harding already have been reelected for additional four-year terms.
Pasco voters also will decide if they want to extend Penny for Pasco for 15 years. If adopted, this would be the third time that voters found favor with the voluntary tax.
Proceeds from the 1-cent sales surtax would be split among Pasco County, Pasco County Schools and the county’s six municipalities. The money goes for a broad array of uses, including such things as school construction, road improvements, environmental lands acquisition, police vehicles and other public safety enhancements.
In Hillsborough County, voters will decide who they want to represent them on the Hillsborough County Commission.
In District 1, incumbent Harry Cohen faces challenger Scott D. Levinson.
In District 2, incumbent Ken Hagan faces Angela Birdsong.
In District 5, incumbent Mariella Smith goes up against Donna Cameron Cepeda, and in District 7, incumbent Kimberly Overman faces Joshua Wostal.
Hillsborough County voters also have the opportunity to express their position on a proposed 1-cent surtax to support transportation projects.
The ballot initiative had been nullified by a circuit court judge, but the Hillsborough County Commission appealed that ruling, and because of that appeal, the issue remains on the ballot.
If the tax ultimately passes, it would last 30 years and would pay for transportation improvements throughout Hillsborough County’s incorporated and unincorporated areas.
Meanwhile, local voters also will have their say on statewide and federal races.
They will help determine whether incumbent Gov. Ron DeSantis will return for a second term, or if he will be replaced by challenger Charlie Crist.
They will choose whether incumbent Jimmy Patronis serves another term as the state’s chief financial officer, or challenger Adam Hattersley assumes that post.
They will select either Wilton Simpson or Naomi Esther Blemur to serve as the state’s commissioner of agriculture, filling a seat vacated by Nikki Fried, who made an unsuccessful bid for governor.
Voters also will choose a number of state lawmakers to serve in the Florida Senate or the Florida House of Representatives.
And, voters will decide the fate of three constitutional amendments.
Proposed Constitutional Amendment 1, which would take effect Jan. 1, would authorize the Legislature to prohibit consideration of any improvement made to residential property to resist flood damage, in determining the property’s assessed value, for taxing purposes.
Proposed Constitutional Amendment 2 would abolish the Constitution Revision Commission, which meets at 20-year intervals, to submit proposed revisions to the state’s constitution. The next meeting is scheduled for 2037.
Proposed Constitutional Amendment 3, which would take effect Jan. 1, would authorize the Legislature to grant an additional homestead tax exemption for non-school levies of up to $50,000 of the assessed value of homestead property owned by classroom teachers, law enforcement officers, correctional officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, child welfare services professionals, active duty members of the United States Armed Forces, and Florida National Guard members.
Voters also will be making some big decisions at the federal level.
They will determine the outcome of races in the U.S. Senate and in the congressional House of Representatives. The outcome of those races will have an impact on which party garners more seats in the U.S. Congress, which will influence the future direction on spending and policy issues.
In Florida, specifically, voters will decide if incumbent Marco Rubio should remain in office, or if he should be replaced by challenger Val Demings.
Voters also will cast ballots in their congressional districts to select members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
- Hillsborough County has 26 early voting sites operating, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., now through Nov. 6.
- Pasco County has 12 early voting sites open, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., through Nov. 5
Both websites offer a wealth of information that may prove useful to voters.
Published November 02, 2022