District 58 primary voters turn out to select nominees

01/26/10 Seán Kinane
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Today, voters in State House district 58 are choosing their parties’ candidates to replace Representative Mike Scionti. today. Polls are open until 7pm in the district that includes parts of West Tampa and Seminole Heights.

Carlton Lofton wore a shirt and held a sign supporting Democrat Janet Cruz at the West Tampa Convention Center on Columbus Drive.

At the American Legion on north Florida Avenue, another Cruz supporter, Thomas Nixon, said that as of noon there had only been a few voters coming to that precinct.

Elis Pujols wore his National Association of Letter Carriers union shirt and carried a sign for Janet Cruz at a precinct on North Rome Avenue.

Cruz is running for the Democratic nomination against Gilberto Sanchez and Pat Kemp. Calimango Crespo waved a Sanchez sign at West Tampa motorists on Columbus Drive.

Pat Kemp had to take a leave of absence as chair of the Hillsborough County Democratic Party to run for the state house nomination. She’s the wife of WMNF program director Randy Wynne. Unlike the other two Democrats, Kemp lived in the district when she filed to run. But she is also the only non-Latino in the race for the House district that, despite being represented by Michael Scionti, is seen by some as a Latino district.

District 58 leans very heavily Democratic, and the winner of that primary is likely to take the general election on February 23. On the Republican side, the contest is between Hunter Chamberlain and the choice of voter Nelson Marrero, Jackie Rojas-Quinones.

At the West Tampa Convention Center, Vita Anastasi wouldn’t say which candidate she voted for in the Democratic Primary, but that turnout appeared low.

Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Earl Lennard estimates that as of 5:30 this afternoon, approximately 4 percent of eligible voters have voted at their precincts in today's House District 58 Special Primary Election. That does not count more than 1300 early voting and absentee ballots that had been received as of yesterday.

Polls are open until 7pm.

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