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    Close race appears over for Pasco-Pinellas circuit judgeship

    By Times staff
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published September 11, 2002

    John Renke III appeared to have won a narrow victory Tuesday night over Declan Mansfield in the race for a Pasco-Pinellas circuit judgeship.

    Renke, 33, a New Port Richey civil attorney, held a slight but consistent lead over Mansfield in the Group 25 race with more than four-fifths of precincts reporting. The outcome hinged on results in Pinellas County, where Renke was running stronger than the 51-year-old Mansfield, a well-known New Port Richey criminal defense and personal injury lawyer.

    In the Group 26 race to replace retiring Judge Maynard Swanson, Dade City prosecutor Linda appeared headed for a runoff with George H. Brown. Babb held a comfortable lead over Brown and Sarah Chavez with nearly all the precincts reporting, and Brown held a narrow lead over Chavez for the second spot in the runoff.

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