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Campaigning a family affair

Talk about "running mates'': Some couples used the holiday weekend to reach out to voters who will be going to the polls today.

Published September 5, 2006

[Times photo: Edmund D. Fountain]
Kenny Sweeney, 9, campaigns Saturday with his mom, Vivian, center, on behalf of Kenny's dad, John Sweeney, on Forest Oaks Boulevard in Spring Hill. John Sweeney is running for the School Board District 1 seat. Also pictured is Circuit Judge candidate Jeff Kirk, who campaigned solo with one of his signs.

Voters go to the polls today in Hernando County, with competitive primary election races for governor, state Legislature, County Commission, Circuit Court judgeships and the School Board.

On the campaign trail over the weekend, many candidates were mixing the business of last-minute campaigning with some quality family time.

District 3 School Board candidate Maricriss Dausch and her husband, Stewart, were waving at passing cars on Forest Oaks Boulevard on Saturday, while son Jake and grandson Haden toted sandwich-board signs.

"Vote for my grandma!" Haden urged passers-by.

Their outpost was sandwiched by two other School Board candidates.

On one side, challenger John Sweeney and his wife, Vivian, worked to boost his name recognition in the District 1 race.

On the other, District 3 incumbent John Druzbick and his wife, Debbie, settled in for a tailgate lunch with friends and supporters.

Assistant County Attorney Jeff Kirk said he was campaigning the old-fashioned way for a new judgeship in the Connecticut-sized 5th Circuit: "Shaking lots of hands, lots of shoe leather. Everything but TV."

Nearby, Donna Mattingly was holding down the campaign fort while her husband, state House candidate Steve, hunted for more signs. She said voter awareness of the candidates running in District 44 seemed low.

"We need to educate the importance of young people voting," she said. "So many people are disgusted about politics and voting."

Tom Marshall can be reached at or 352 848-1431.


HOURS: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

WHAT TO BRING: Photo and signature identification. Approved identification includes:

* Florida driver's license or ID card

* U.S. passport

* Employee badge or ID

* Buyer's club ID, such as Sam's Club or Costco

* Military ID

* Debit or credit card

* Student ID

* Retirement center ID

* Neighborhood association ID or a membership card

* Public assistance ID

FOR INFORMATION: Under state law, voters must cast ballots in the precinct assigned to their resident address. For information on candidates and polling places, go to: webspecials06/kyc/. The Supervisor of Elections Office may be reached at 754-4125.

[Last modified September 5, 2006, 07:24:06]

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