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District 51: Democrat

Published October 21, 2006


Janet Long

The difficulty for voters in the House District 51 race may be that the two candidates have so much in common. Both Democrat Janet Long and Republican Dottie Reeder have served on the Seminole City Council (for a while together), volunteered generously in their community and developed politically moderate positions on the issues.

The difference could come down to personal style. On that point, Long has been an enthusiastic public servant with a streak of independence. Neither candidate has complete command of the issues, probably because this is their first attempt at state office. The edge on experience with state issues also goes to Long, 61, who served as a legislative aide and worked in the local office of the state Department of Insurance for 11 years. Long has a better handle on the homeowners insurance crisis, as well.

Reeder, 57, has served Seminole well as its mayor for the past 11 years, but she didn't do enough homework for this race. She didn't realize until she hit the campaign trail that voters were focused on insurance and tax issues, despite the attention those matters attracted in past legislative sessions.

Long recognizes the need for basic reform of the legislative agenda, particularly in setting priorities and resisting the influence of special interests at the expense of the common good. "I don't see where (legislators) are putting their money where their values are," she said.

In Florida House District 51, the Times recommends Janet Long.

[Last modified October 21, 2006, 02:09:20]

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