A Leon County circuit judge will hear arguments Monday in a constitutional challenge to part of a new state law that would make changes in the election of Pinellas County commissioners.
According to a hearing notice, Judge John Cooper will consider Pinellas County’s request for a preliminary injunction to block the changes, along with motions by the state to dismiss the case.
Pinellas County attorneys filed the lawsuit April 29 to challenge a section of a broad elections law that they contend would improperly apply only to Pinellas County and would require elections this year for two county-commission seats that otherwise would not come up for election until 2024.
The lawsuit alleges, in part, that the challenged part of the measure is what is known as an unconstitutional “special law” because it would effectively apply only to Pinellas County.
The law would change the timing of the election of two Pinellas County commissioners, the lawsuit said.
Term-limited state Rep. Chris Latvala, a Clearwater Republican who is a close ally of House Speaker Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, is running for one of those two commission seats, according to the Pinellas County elections website.