A Times Editorial
© St. Petersburg Times, published October 11, 2000
The candidates for Florida House District 49 in north Pinellas County do not differ dramatically on the issues. Larry Crow, the incumbent Republican, favors campaign finance reform and certain gun-control regulations and opposes dismantling the state growth management agency. Sue Humphreys, the Democratic challenger, holds similar views on those subjects and others. Both oppose the giveaway of state-owned waterfront land to private landowners. One of the few issues that they take opposite sides on is the death penalty: Crow supports it, but would allow more money for appeals; Humphreys opposes the death penalty.
In other words, Crow, 40, a lawyer, is a moderate Republican with a capital M. He even got himself in a little trouble recently by criticizing the local Republican Party's shift to the right. But Crow appears to reflect the values of his constituents.
Humphreys, 53, a property manager, is making her second run for elective office (she lost to state Sen. Jack Latvala in 1996). She has been a teacher and active in the League of Women Voters.
What case does Humphreys make for unseating Crow, who is seeking his fourth term? "He's a nice man who has good intentions at heart but doesn't have the time to protect our interests," she said.
While Crow and other legislators with full-time jobs may find that they have to juggle their schedules, there is no evidence that he failed to perform his public duties.
While it is true that Crow has not been a leader within the Pinellas delegation, he has, for the most part, looked out for the county's interests and made good decisions on statewide issues. Most important, Crow is able to step outside partisan dogma to make good decisions for the majority of residents.
The Times recommends Larry Crow.
The Times offers candidates not recommended by its editorial board an opportunity to reply. Candidates in the races discussed today should send in their replies no later than 5 p.m. Friday to: Philip Gailey, editor of editorials, St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. (E-mail: email@example.com; Fax: 893-8675). Replies are limited to 250 words.