LARGO - While the Largo City Commission workshop meeting Tuesday left folks bored to distraction or scratching their heads over complications, a shock wave rolled through Largo this week as the political cognoscenti got word over endorsements given to two candidates by the firefighters union.
The union endorsed Rodney Woods and Gigi Arntzen, both of whom were defeated in last year's election. Arntzen lost to Mary Black in a race where absentee ballots carried the day and Woods was swamped by Andy Guyette.
Further consternating political insiders was that Arntzen's opponent, Jean Halvorsen, who is running to keep her seat, has been a steadfast supporter of the firefighters as well as the police department.
Woods's opponent is Ernie Bach, a former commissioner, who has a history of supporting both the fire and police departments.
One observer, well schooled in the machinations of Largo politics, pointed out that the present Largo fire chief is the former union boss.
Jeff Bullock was promoted to head the department last year by City Manager Steve Stanton. Stanton and Bullock are very close.
"I see Stanton's hand in this," a sophisticated observer who asked not to be identified said. "Stanton picked Bullock as chief and Bullock still has strong influence among his friends in the union which used to head."
Although Stanton has not publicly revealed any preferences among candidates in this year's election, it is generally known that he is not a fan of Bach and although he has made overtures to Halvorsen recently he is seen as preferring Arntzen.
Arntzen politically fits into the camp of Commissioner Harriet Crozier and Pat Burke, a former commissioner, who is still regarded as influential in the background of Largo politics.
Unreported anywhere was the commission action January 17 in annexing a large plot of land across Roosevelt Boulevard from the airport.
This action has set county functionaries squirming. They live in dire fear that Largo's appetite for annexations may swallow up the airport land.
Return to Home Page
Return to Current Edition