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A Times Editorial

Candidate reply

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 30, 2000


The Times offers candidates not recommended by its editorial board an opportunity to reply. Here is one of those replies.

Garry Allen, Republican candidate for tax collector

Your endorsements this week have been confusing. Tuesday you supported "status quo" when endorsing my opponent. Yet two days later you dump "status quo" for new, innovative ideas in the Supervisor of Elections Office. Which is it?

During the primary election the Times endorsed my candidacy, citing my support for extended office hours and increased use of the Internet. That endorsement also stated Garry Allen "appreciates the changes that are necessitating new ideas and approaches to governing this very visible constitutional office."

Additionally, the Times touted "Allen's familiarity with the office, and Allen's vision for how it can better serve the public in today's high-tech world" as good reasons for voters to support my candidacy. This endorsement did not indicate support for the status quo and seemed to recognize the need for fresh ideas, innovative approaches and new leadership.

My opponent offers no ideas for improvement, except to increase diversity in the office, which she's already had over 20 years to do. She is adamantly opposed to extending office hours. My plan to extend office hours is an example of my pro-active approach to meeting the customer's needs. Additionally, all customers would benefit from an increased use of the Internet because taxpayers conducting transactions on line will mean fewer customers visiting the office. Walk-in customers will receive faster, personalized service.

Hernando County voters have a clear choice in electing their next tax collector. They can choose to support the status quo or choose new leadership with innovative ideas by voting for Garry Allen.

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