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A Political Swipe By Swope

Candidate for sheriff Scott Swope fires a short round at Sheriff Gualtieri's ship as it sails full speed ahead to a predicted win in November.

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.  

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Margie Swope September 11, 2012 at 01:09 PM
Harvey, as someone who has hosted these debates in the past, I find it saddening to see you editorializing about my husband without first talking with him. You know as well as anyone that Scott is in favor of getting raises to the deputies, he has been saying that all along, while Gualtieri initially claimed their was no money. The timing of the bonus and the endorsement from the PBA was brought up by the Times to us, not the other way around. Please understand Scott is a man of integrity. He is hardly "taking a swipe" at anything. He is presenting the facts. And as far as "far less qualified to wear the star", we'll see in November. Don't underestimate my husband.
Pinellas Voter September 11, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Scott Swope has NOT questioned the fact that deputies and staff at the PCSO deserve a raise. Swope questioned the timing of the bonus that came the same day that the Suncoast PBA , the union which represents the deputies, issued its endorsement of Gualtieri without allowing Swope an opportunity to present himself for consideration, and he questioned the timing of the bonus because it will be delivered into the paychecks of deputies and PCSO staff one week before mail-in ballots are sent to voters.
Concerned for Public Safety September 11, 2012 at 04:34 PM
As a Republican and former Rice volunteer, I felt the need to cross the party line to support the Democratic candidate for sheriff Scott Swope. I did this for 2 reasons (1) party lines should not even go into play when you are talking about the sheriff race. Political party views have nothing to do in this situation. And (2) because I feel that Swope has quality, integrity and leadership skills to run Pinellas county's sheriff office. This is in NO WAY an act of retaliation against the other candidate it is just that Rice supporters felt the same as Everett Rice did--that the sheriff office is broken under the current interim sheriff will only continue to worsen. I do hope that all Rice supporters remember what Everett spoke about frequently. About the mis-management currently at the Pinellas County Sheriff office and forget about party lines in this election for sheriff. I call out to all Democrats and Republicans of Pinellas county to vote for someone that will get the sheriff's office back on track and bring integrity into it's office --- SCOTT SWOPE FOR SHERIFF ! For more info on Scott Swope go to www.swopeforsheriff.com
MuffinPatch September 12, 2012 at 02:34 AM
I have been to numerous forums because I like to hear for myself what each candidate has to say in his own words. I have issues with Mr. Harvey Smith’s ‘opinion piece’. One of the qualifications for the Pinellas County Sheriff race should be on ISSUES. Sheriff Gualtieri tells us that he will continue to “keep Pinellas county residents safe”. What will he do that is different from what he has been doing for the last few years? News flash: it’s not working. Sheriff Gualtieri tells us that he has, “Cut millions of dollars in the budget” and “hundreds of jobs.” He appears to take pride in this fact. Is he so out of touch that he doesn’t comprehend that behind each job he has cut there is a ‘family’ who has been adversely affected? The third paragraph was not worthy of the Patch to publish. It was very childish. As far as I know, the Democrats have not adopted Swope as their poster boy. He is certainly not a politician! He is a concerned citizen who happens to be a Democrat running for Sheriff. After listening to all of the candidates over the course of the last few months, my vote is for Swope!
Rice Supporter September 12, 2012 at 04:04 AM
The Sheriff’s race is one instance where voters should cross party lines to vote for the best candidate. The primary has been difficult for many PCSO deputies who served Pinellas County. Many of us feel that the current leadership is not a good fit for the Agency or its staff. When Everett Rice announced that he had been asked to return to fix the problems in this agency, many of us jumped at the chance to support his candidacy. Although he was not successful, the same leadership issues remain. Bob Gualtieri is not qualified to be Sheriff. Many of us who attended candidate forums and were loyal to Everett were very impressed with Scott Swope. We noted by his articulate responses to questions, his command of the problems, his thoughtful analysis, and the solutions he offered. Rice volunteers are supporting Scott Swope because he is the best man for the job; not because we are the "disenchanted ‘poor-loser’ Rice crew". We have chosen to follow our conscience and support a change of leadership at the PCSO. When Bob tells you he did an internal survey and that 83% of his deputies think things in the PCSO are just fine; he neglects to tell you that only 32% of the PCSO staff responded to that survey. Morale is at an all time low! Scott Swope is the leader we need to bring integrity and common sense back to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. I urge Republicans, like me, as well as Democrats and Independents to Vote for Swope!

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