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District 43: Incumbent Dean holds on to top political novice, retains House seat

AMY WIMMER SCHWARB
Published November 3, 2004

Charles Dean easily won a second term in the state House of Representatives, defeating a challenger who campaigned on the idea of reversing the way business is done in Tallahassee.

Dean, a Republican from Inverness, collected 19 times more money than his opponent, Democrat Mike Jarrett of Dunnellon. Much of Dean's money came from the industry lobbyists that Jarrett criticized.

Dean represents District 43, which covers all of Citrus County and portions of Hernando and Marion counties. He said Jarrett's message didn't resonate with voters.

"Mike was a nice guy who got in this race because somebody needed to run against Charlie Dean, and so he ran against me," Dean said Tuesday night. "I think you've got to have a lot more in-depth program of why you want to run and what you want to do, other than to be somebody's opponent."

Dean, a cattle rancher and former longtime sheriff of Citrus County, said the Legislature's first priority should be to help Floridians get back on their feet following the slew of hurricanes.

Jarrett used his campaign to pan the state political system. He said Dean was too quick to follow the Republican House leadership, and criticized Dean for not standing up to powerful lobbyists.

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