Rice grabs lead against opponent Gill

Published November 3, 2004

TAMPA - With about a third of the precincts reporting, Liz Rice was leading in the race to become Hillsborough's newest county court judge.

Rice agreed that it was too early to make a call on the race. She thanked her opponent Henry Gill for his cordial attitude.

"It was a lot of hard work," Rice said. "Many of the best things in life are."

Gill said his campaigning went well. He said he would have liked to have raised more money for the campaign but had no regrets. "I saw Liz at the polls today. We shook hands and wished each other luck," Gill said. "I respect her and she would make a good judge."

The winner will replace Judge Elvin Martinez, who is retiring.

Rice won 48.5 percent of the vote in the August primary. Gill received 25.95 percent, placing just ahead of Tampa lawyer Brad Souders, who garnered 25.6 percent.

Because none of the candidates received more than 50 percent of the vote, Rice and Gill met in the general election.

Rice, 40, received a bachelor's degree and a law degree from the University of Florida and served a term as president of the Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division. Gill, 65, began his career in the Navy 40 years ago. He later became an assistant U.S. attorney and the Department of Energy's deputy general counsel for litigation.