Bush goes door-to-door in Pinellas
By MIKE BRASSFIELD
He got a surprise Saturday afternoon when Bush showed up at his front door.
Colquitt, a 39-year-old sales representative, stood in his driveway and discussed the issues with Bush, who sweated in the sun and sipped bottled water as he talked about education reform. He was flanked by his wife, Columba, and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker.
The governor spoke to two very different audiences Saturday during a campaign sweep through Pinellas County.
First, he went door-to-door in a middle-class, predominantly African-American neighborhood in St. Petersburg's Pinellas Point area, looking for undecided voters to sway.
Then he preached to the converted at a packed Republican rally at the Wagon Wheel flea market in Pinellas Park.
At the rally, Bush handed out hundreds of hot dogs before he delivered his well-honed stump speech, highlighting his record on schools, crime and the environment.
He received huge rounds of applause when he mentioned tough prison sentences for violent criminals, treatment for drug addicts, protecting the Everglades, preventing offshore drilling, and his plans to make reading even more of a priority in Florida schools.
He hammered at McBride, calling his opponent's promises hopelessly vague: "He doesn't want you to know how high your taxes are going to go up."
The audience was a bit tougher during Bush's door-to-door walk along 67th Avenue S in St. Petersburg. Neighbors asked polite but pointed questions.
Colquitt, the sales representative and undecided voter, was still undecided when Bush left his driveway. His father was a teacher, and it worries him that Florida teachers aren't paid more. But some of Bush's answers impressed him.
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