St. Petersburg Times
Know your candidates 2004
  Know Your Candidates
[Times illustration: Teresanne Cossetta]


Sample Ballots
Citrus County
Hernando County
Hillsborough County (PDF)
Pasco County
Pinellas County (PDF)

Election 2004 coverage

Very different visions: President Bush and Sen. John Kerry are on the opposite ends of many key issues in what could be a very close presidential election.

U.S. Senate
A nation watches: The U.S. Senate race in Florida is one of the few that will determine which party has the upper hand in the Senate.
U.S. House 11
Minor party challenge: Jim Davis, a Democrat running for his fifth term in Congress, faces Libertarian Robert Edward Johnson.
Florida Supreme Court Justices
Keeping their seats: Kenneth Bell and Raoul Cantero III have little chance of being voted out of office.
Gambling, malpractice top amendment list
Voters will face eight questions on the ballot next Tuesday asking them to amend the Florida Constitution.

2nd Court of Appeal Judges
Facing retention vote: Five appellate justices have no opposition and voting is nonpartisan.
Largo Charter Amendment
Up to compliance: The amendment would bring the city charter into harmony with state statutes on various issues.
Pinellas County Charter Amendments
Strengthen the charter: Four amendments would give more power to the county administrator, and the fifth would offer more time to make charter changes.
Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court
Better management: The two share business backgrounds and a desire to improve efficiency and communication.
Pinellas County Commission 1
Divided on development: Republican Ronnie Duncan and Democrat Norm Roche paint each other as extremists on development issues.
Pinellas County Commission 3
More work to do? Republican incumbent Bob Stewart says he's running again to take care of unfinished business. Democratic challenger Maria Scruggs-Weston says change is needed.
Pinellas County Commission 7
Social issues dominate: Questions about poverty and job creation have dominated the race between incumbent Ken Welch and his challenger, community activist Sharon Russ.
Pinellas County School tax referendum
Raising teachers' salaries: A proposal would bring teachers' pay closer to the national average and finance other programs.
Pinellas County Sheriff
Very different worlds: GOP candidate Jim Coats has decades of law enforcement experience and the blessing of the departing sheriff. Democrat Bubba the Love Sponge Clem is a former radio shock jock fired for indecency.
St. Petersburg referendums
Question 1
St. Petersburg referendums
The waterfront's makeover: The hottest of the five referendum questions is whether the Dali museum will move to the land now occupied by the Times Arena at the Bayfront Center.
State House 45
Candidates spar again: Incumbent Tom Anderson isn't afraid to buck the Republican Party line. Opponent Kevin Jensen focuses on improved education.
State House 51
Two challenge incumbent: Veteran Leslie Waters says she still has issues to champion while one of her challengers, Mike Smith, criticizes the "Waters wave" and the other, Matt Sullivan, supports the high-speed rail.
State House 52
VETERAN VS. NEWCOMER: Republican Frank Farkas says his years in the state House show he's the right choice. Political newcomer Liz McCallum, a Democrat, says she brings a new vision for the district.
Treasure Island referendum
Wanting more turnover: If term limits are passed, volunteer board or committee members could only serve for six consecutive years.
U.S. House 10
A wide divide: U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young and his Democratic opponent, Bob Derry, disagree strongly on issues such as tax cuts and the Patriot Act.

Pinellas County -Pasco County Circuit Judge Group 22
Which experience better? Twowith a well-established legal career think that makes them worthy of a seat on the bench.

Hillsborough County Clerk OF CIRC CT
Customer service focus: Both Democrat Pat Frank and Republican Chris Hart detail plans to update the office and offer easier access to records, such as paying traffic tickets via the Web.
Hillsborough County Commission 2
Different money, philosophies: Incumbent Ken Hagan, a favorite of the building industry, casts himself as a conservative Republican. David Cutting is more liberal, advocating better county services for low-income people.
Hillsborough County Commission 4
From different worlds: For the most part, Ronda Storms declines to discuss Jean Batronie's personal life.
Hillsborough County Commission 6
Clash of experience: Veteran politician Bob Buckhorn, a Democrat, says he already knows the government ropes. GOP challenger Brian Blair says his business knowledge would serve the county well.
Hillsborough County Commission 7
Finally, a winner: Mark Sharpe, Denis Layne and Joe Redner have all lost in previous elections.
Hillsborough County Judge 11
Two well-regarded lawyers: Both finalists have varied experiences and a personal message they bring to the table.
Hillsborough County Referendum
Chain of command: Who should the county attorney report to? The seemingly bureaucratic issue is a hot topic after the former county administrator found his hands tied.
Hillsborough County School Board 1
Betting on experience: Janice Torgersen is a retired Tampa Bay educator with three decades' experience. Susan Valdes is a health care clinic manager with business and budget know-how.
Hillsborough County Write-In Races
The Hillsborough ballot includes some races that list one or more candidates by name, with another space designated for a possible write-in candidate.
Hillsborough Supervisor of Elections
Vote for confidence: Incumbent Buddy Johnson says he is running on his record. Challenger Rob MacKenna says Johnson's record is the problem.
Temple Terrace city council
All the same?
U.S. House 12
Conservative vs. social conservative: Republican incumbent Adam Putnam offers a conservative voting record; his opponent, Bob Hagenmaier, offers an antiabortion, conservative social agenda.
Hillsborough County Public Defender
Former boss challenged: Defense attorney William Knight, a Republican, is challenging three-term Democratic incumbent Julianne Holt, for whom he used to work.
State House 47
A surprising challenge? A divisive GOP primary could leave incumbent state Rep. Kevin Ambler vulnerable against Libertarian candidate Kim Snow.
State House 57
On the same page: State Rep. Faye Culp and opponent Deborah Cope can at least agree that education, transportation and the economy should be major areas of focus for the winner.
State House 58
No free pass: James Riis stresses the need for competitive elections and FCAT reform. Incumbent Bob Henriquez touts his experience.
State House 60
A sure thing: A Republican incumbent and his Democratic rival are both confident they have what it takes to win.
Temple Terrace Mayor
Redevelopment drives race: Joe Affronti wants to turn a multimillion-dollar project into reality. Opponent Kenneth Tozier says residents should have choices in the plan.

Citrus County Commission
WHO'LL TAME GROWTH? The Republican in the race says he will preserve and protect resources. The Democrat says he puts protecting the environment first.
Citrus County Commission 5
EYE OF STORM: The incumbent has been in the spotlight during hurricane preparations. His challenger says he doesn't listen to voters.
Citrus County Property Appraiser
IN SCHULTZ'S SHADOW: The longtime property appraiser's second-in-command is running to succeed him; her opponent suggests electing her will only bring more of the same.
Citrus County School Board 4
REBUILDING AFTER CRISIS: Educator Bill Murray and working parent Cynthia "Cindy" Cino square off on how to deal with a budget crunch and lacking community trust after a school construction debacle.
Citrus County School Board 5
Two candidates with vastly different backgrounds are vying to replace Sandra "Sam" Himmel in the District 5 seat on the School Board.
Citrus County Superintendent of Schools
TIME FOR SHAKEUP?: Two candidates say the district needs new blood, not a School Board veteran, at the helm.
Crystal River City Commission 1
PACE OF PROGRESS: The incumbent is ready to run with the council, but the challenger says speed isn't always appropriate.
Crystal River City Commission 3
OPPOSED ON ANNEXATION: The two clash on the 500-plus acres, but both candidates share environmental concerns.
Crystal River City Commission 5
QUESTION OF TRUST: For all the progress the incumbent cites, her challenger says the City Council lacks credibility.
U.S. House 5
TWO POLICY FOILS: A newcomer to politics accuses the incumbent of being too far to the right.
Citrus County Sheriff
TELLTALE CAMPAIGN STYLES: Hank Hemrick says his modest signs and the incumbent's deluge tactic symbolize their differences.
State Senate 3
STRESSING DISTRICT'S IMPORTANCE: Both candidates agree the area should have an active voice, but they differ on what should be stressed.

5th Court of Appeals judges
AWAITING MERIT RETENTION: Appointed by the governor, five judges face no opponents, just voter approval on whether they'll serve another six-year term.
State House 43
INSIDER VS. OUTSIDER: Republican state Rep. Charles Dean is running on his record and his name recognition. His challenger, Democrat Mike Jarrett, says he wants to change how things are done in Tallahassee.

5th Circuit Judge 10
A RELOCATED SEAT: Citrus and Hernando counties will divide time as the new Group 10 base for either Stephen Spivey or Michael Takac.
Brooksville City Commission 2
FACING GROWING PAINS: Candidates Pat Brayton and David Pugh Jr. both name city growth as an important priority to manage wisely.
Brooksville City Commission 3
POLITICAL NOVICES CONTEND: None of the three candidates for Seat 3 have held elected office before. All three say they have a plan to better the city.
Hernando County Commission 1
AGGRESSIVE GROWTH MANAGEMENT: Republican Jeff Stabins and Democrat Bill Fagan hold similar ideas about development in Hernando.
Hernando County Commission 3
COUNTY SPENDING CRITICIZED: Nonpartisan candidate Steven Ashmore and Republican Mark Cattell charge spending should be checked. Democrat Diane Rowden says those who say spending is wild are misinformed.
Hernando County Commission 5
GROWTH PLAN AHEAD: Both Republican Janey Baldwin and Democrat Chris Kingsley would seek to shepherd through a strategic county growth plan.
Hernando County School Board 2
RAISING THE GRADE: Pat Fagan, longtime parks director, and Linda Prescott, veteran teacher, both have detailed ideas about improving education.
State Senate 15
A LAKELAND FACEOFF: After years of representation from Hernando, this time district voters will choose between two Lakeland residents: Republican Paula Dockery and Democrat Carol Castagnero.
Hernando County Sheriff
STICKING TO ISSUES: Neither incumbent Sheriff Richard Nugent nor James "Eddie" McConnell want a negative campaign, so they're focusing on such problems as the sheriff's budget and the county's crime rate.

State House 62
WHO REPLACES BYRD? A Republican, a Democrat and a Libertarian vie for House Speaker Johnnie Byrd's seat, which covers Brandon, Plant City and part of Pasco County.

Pasco County Clerk of the Circuit Court
LONGTIME INCUMBENT CHALLENGED: Peter Altman says he wants to take over to improve the office. Jed Pittman, who has had the job since 1977, questions Altman's true motivation.
Pasco County Commission
Make it official: Leon Montambault was appointed to fill the vacant seat in May; he faces challengers Larry Crowley and Alex Haak. Whoever wins will serve until March 2006.
Pasco County Commission 3
TIME FOR CHANGE?: Ann Hildebrand touts her record as a public servant, while her opponent, Keith Waldron, says, after 20 years, it's time for a change.
Pasco County Commission 5
VISIONS OF GROWTH: Challenger Jack Mariano wants to attract more businesses. Peter Altman says infrastructure needs to catch up with growth.
Pasco County School Board 2
APPOINTED OR ELECTED?: School Board member Marge Whaley and Ryan O'Reilly differ on how superintendents should be hired.
Pasco County Sheriff
AN UPHILL BATTLE: Longtime Sheriff's Office veteran Darlene Greene touts her experience, but incumbent Bob White has had an unclouded first term.
Pasco County Superintendent of Schools
Pasco County Supervisor of elections

ISSUES OF TRUST: Kurt Browning, who oversaw a problem-free election in 2000, faces Patrick Bergy, who says he doesn't have faith in touch screen voting.
State Senate 11
One more term? State Sen. Mike Fasano seeks to rein in Medicaid costs and block phone rate increases; his opponent, Steve Mattingly, would push for the concerns of small-business owners.
State House 44
LOW-PROFILE RACE: State Rep. David Russell, a Brooksville Republican, faces Democrat Jim Hughes, who charged his opponent was ineffective. But Russell counters that his opponent's facts are out of date.
State House 46
FIXING WHAT'S WRONG: Both Republican John Legg and Democrat Dee Thomas list health care, education and medical malpractice reforms at the top of their to-do lists.