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    Victory for Bennett earns a House seat

    By LINDA GIBSON

    © St. Petersburg Times, published September 6, 2000


    Michael Bennett soundly defeated Ronald Reagan in the Republican primary race for Florida House District 67.

    Polling results showed Bennett winning about 60 percent of the vote.

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    Term limits prohibited incumbent Mark Ogles from running again, and there was no Democratic candidate, so Bennett won the seat outright.

    "I have a whole lot of people to thank," Bennett said Tuesday night. "Now it's time to go to work and live up to what I promised the people."

    Like his opponent (who is no relation to the former president), Bennett is a newcomer to politics. He works as president of Aladdin Ward Electric and Air Inc. in Sarasota.

    Bennett, 55, graduated from Sarasota High School, earned an MBA from Drake University and served three tours of duty in Vietnam with the Navy.

    Once he takes office, he wants to work on vocational education and affordable health insurance.

    District 67 covers part of south Hillsborough County, including Sun City Center, as well as Central Manatee County and Northwest Sarasota County.

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