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Hildebrand cruises in win over opponent

Ann Hildebrand had accepted close to $50,000 for her campaign, much of it from development interests.


© St. Petersburg Times, published September 6, 2000


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NEW PORT RICHEY -- County Commissioner Ann Hildebrand will return to her post for another four years.

With all precincts counted late Tuesday, Hildebrand held a comfortable lead over opponent and fellow Republican Scott Factor.

"I'm just grand," Hildebrand said from her home.

"I'm grateful to all my friends who supported me," she added.

Factor, at 33 a newcomer to the Pasco political scene, made developer influence a central issue in the race. He refused to accept money from developers or the lawyers who represent them. The fact that fellow Republican Hildebrand has accepted close to $50,000, much of it from development interests, is a point Factor has made at many public opportunities.

And it's a point he made Tuesday night after learning the election results.

"For a 16-year incumbent to have to spend that kind of money to beat little ol' me, well, that tells you something," he said. Factor might consider another run someday, he said.

Hildebrand, 62, has defended her coffer, saying that it takes money to run a campaign. She has said that she is neither pro- nor anti-development and that she considers what's in the best interest of the entire county before voting on anything.

Factor has said his ideals are more in line with Republican principles; Hildebrand said most county issues are non-partisan in nature anyway, and she just tries to vote the right way.

Factor disagreed Tuesday night: "The builders got what they paid for."

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