Democrat candidate for sheriff Scott Swope is picking up more than free Everett Rice campaign signs and a few votes from the disenchanted "poor-loser" Rice crew by accusing Sheriff Bob Gualtieri of politicizing his decision to grant a long overdue bonus to Pinellas County Sheriff's Office personnel.
In his response about the timing of the bonus, Bob is absolutely right and Swope is taking a swipe at anything he can find about the sheriff rather than state his qualifications. If Bob really wanted a PCSO personnel voter bump, he certainly would have done it prior to the Primary. There is little doubt by anyone who follows Pinellas County politics that Gualtieri won't win in November. He beat Rice by 14 points so a sweep against Swope, who is far less qualified to wear the star, isn't even worth betting on!
Now we all agree that Scott Swope is a nice, personable and well-spoken guy. Some even see him as a future poster boy for the Democrats. It could be that he's using the high-profile sheriff's race to play in the political name-game for a county or state office run next time around. Now that's good political planning.
Bob Gualtieri has been roundly criticized by some County Commissioners for prematurely raining on their staff bonus parade and now Scott Swope, seeking to build a rep in the political arena, has picked up the beat against the sheriff's decision to give some very deserving members of the Pinellas County community a long-awaited bump in salaries. I'm sorry to see Scott falling into the Rice campaign style along with picking up Rice's leftover signs and a few votes. Rice Republicans being encouraged to support and vote for Democrat Swope as a means of revenge doesn't make good sense in determining who's the best candidate. Sour apples don't fall far from the tree.