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Nice guy fight ends with Homan as victor


© St. Petersburg Times, published September 6, 2000

TAMPA -- In the kill-or-be-killed world of politics, people like it when the "nice guy" candidate wins.

In the Republican primary for state House District 60, that could have been anybody.

But Ed Homan, 57, easily won Tuesday night, with fellow Temple Terrace residents Keven Woodard, 35, and Warren Johnson, 59, following far behind.

Homan won the nomination without a runoff with 52 percent of the vote.

The candidates were fighting -- nicely -- to represent the district that includes Temple Terrace, Tampa Palms, Lutz, the University of South Florida area, Mango, Seffner and Thonotosassa. The state House seat was vacated by Republican Victor Crist, who stepped down because of term limits and was running in Tuesday's primary for a state Senate seat.

In an election season that saw Republican and Democratic candidates for Hillsborough County State Attorney scratching and clawing at each other, Homan, Johnson and Woodard were more likely to pat each other on the back.

"I have to give credit to both of my opponents in this campaign," Homan said Tuesday night at his victory party at home. "Everybody campaigned on their issues, their background, their experience and not negativity. All three of us were gentlemen. I think the whole public is better served by a race like ours."

Woodard agreed. "It's been a joy to be part of a race that's been so much about running for the seat," he said.

Homan, an orthopedic surgeon and former chief of staff at University Community Hospital, had the largest cash reserves for the race, raising almost $150,000 and spending nearly that much. Woodard and Johnson weren't even in the same tax bracket, with $18,000 and $15,000, respectively.

Johnson, a history professor at Hillsborough Community College, strapped political signs onto his 21-speed Schwinn to campaign through the district.

Woodard, a software engineer with Verizon, rode around the district on a "whistle stop tour" in a red caboose.

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