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Schrader and Kiefer face off in November


© St. Petersburg Times, published September 6, 2000


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DADE CITY -- Ted Schrader is hoping the second time is the charm. Charlotte Kiefer is hoping it only takes one try.

Schrader and Kiefer won their respective party nominations Tuesday and will face off for the District 1 Pasco County Commission race in November, both promising a tough fight.

Schrader, 44, a San Antonio businessman and citrus farmer, stormed over his two Republican opponents taking nearly two-thirds of the votes and avoiding an October runoff. He took an early lead and as the precincts reported, the lead held throughout.

Schrader, a former San Antonio city commissioner, won the right to represent his party in the countywide race in 1996 but lost in the general election to Democrat Sylvia Young, who held the seat for two decades. Young retired this year.

Kiefer, 54, also of San Antonio, has been a fixture in downtown Dade City business for decades but made her political debut this year, jumping into the race late. She narrowly defeated Crystal Springs accountant Pat Burke.

Schrader said he attributed Tuesday's victory to a good organization and attention to detail throughout. He said he ran his campaign as if he were losing to opponents Alan L. Brenia and Rod Neal and promised to keep up the same level of intensity against Kiefer in the November general election.

"We're very excited," Schrader said."I'm very happy we were able to avoid a runoff."

He said he was disappointed in the low turnout but attributed that to an election after a holiday weekend and nasty weather early in the day.

Brenia, a veteran of Zephyrhills politics, said he was disappointed at his showing but felt he did the best job he could getting the message out.

He said it was too early to tell who he would support in the general election.

Neal, making his first run for office, said he was not through with politics and would support Schrader in the general election.

"I'm a Republican through and through," he said.

Kiefer said she was happy to win on her first try, and was optimistic about her chances.

"I have not yet begun to fight," she said. "It's been a lot of work, but we'll keep going."

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