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Local Races Take Shape as Qualifying Closes

Today was the last day to qualify if you intended to seek a state office, or a seat on many local boards.

On the First Coast, the end of qualifying now gives us a clear picture of which races are worth watching in August and November.

Here's a summary of where we stand...

State Senate District 8

Senator John Thrasher has filed to run for re-election and will be challenged in the Republican primary by Charles Perniciaro, a beaches dermatologist. The winner will face former WJXT anchor Deborah Gianoulis in the November general election. An unknown write-in candidate has also filed.

State House Districts 12, 13, 14, 17, 19

State Represenatives Janet Adkins, Jennifer Carroll, Mia Jones and Mike Weinstein were re-elected today, drawing no opposition. State Representative Lake Ray will face only a token write-in candidate in November.

State House District 15

Former City Councilman Reggie Fullwood (Democrat) will face Republican Randall Smith in this district that leans very heavily Democratic.

State House District 16

Representative Charles McBurney will be challenged in the Republican primary by Luis Melendez, who is the President of the Florida State Assembly of Surgical Technologists. The winner faces Dave Baldwin, who is running with No Party Affiliation.

State House District 18

Freshman Republican "Doc" Renuart will face little-known Democrat Tom Collins.

Duval School Board Races

In District 2, four candidates filed. Fred "Fel" Lee, the expected front-runner is going to face John King and Billy Reynolds. And a surprise late entry in that race, former two-time City Council candidate Theresa Graham.

In District 4, three candidates qualified: Paula D. Wright, Pedro Cohen and Alzic Upton.

Eric Smith, Gary Oliveras, Becki Couch and Steve Berrey all qualified for the District 6 seat. Candidate Tom Baine opted to pull out of that race and instead run for City Council in 2011.

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