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Florida parks chief on list for national post


© St. Petersburg Times, published March 29, 2001

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida's longtime director of state parks, Fran Mainella, is being considered to head the National Park Service under President George W. Bush, Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary David Struhs confirmed Wednesday.

"The governor and I have both provided endorsements for her service in the new administration in Washington," Struhs said. "I think it reflects well on Florida and Florida state parks to have this kind of attention brought to our state.'

White House spokeswoman Jeanie Mamo would not confirm whether Mainella is in the running for the nation's top parks job, saying: "We do not discuss personnel announcements until they are made."

Mainella, 53, has directed Florida's park system since 1989, serving under Govs. Bob Martinez, Lawton Chiles and Jeb Bush. Mainella changed her party registration from Democrat to Republican in 1999.

Mainella also has served as president of the National Association of State Park Directors, putting her in touch with parks officials from across the nation.

It wasn't clear Wednesday who else might be considered for the job. Mainella did not return a call seeking comment.

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