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Race turns into nail-biter

By MICHAEL SANDLER

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 8, 2000


TAMPA -- As morning approached, Republican Ed Homan and Democrat Sara Romeo remained tightly locked in the race for District 60 in the Florida House of Representatives.

With 65 percent of the precincts counted, Homan, 57, and Romeo, 51, were nearly even as both candidates patiently watched the results on the internet.

"It's tight, very, very tight," said Romeo, who seemed to have lost her voice by midnight.

"It's just too early to tell," said Homan, a Temple Terrace surgeon who awaited the news with nearly 150 volunteers who walked neighborhoods on his behalf. Both candidates spent the day visiting precincts desperately trying to swing the vote.

"I've been at the polls since 6:30 a.m. shaking hands," said Homan, "telling people, this is my last opportunity to ask for your vote."

The two battled for the seat vacated by Victor Crist, R-Tampa Palms, who was forced out by term limits after serving eight years and waged his own campaign for state Senate.

Homan made education the focus of his campaign, proposing to increase teacher's salaries and add reading specialists to assist children in kindergarten through grade 3. The surgeon also pledged to eliminate much of the bureaucracy involved with HMOs and their complex referal process.

Romeo rallied Tuesday night with supporters at her campaign headquarters to end the final day.

She said she personally visited 18 precincts down the stretch and had supporters at all 40 precincts in the district.

The former PTA president ran on a platform to reduce class size and increase pay for teachers.

She also promoted diverting more money to technical schools, creating more opportunities for students not planning to attend college.

"I was really hoping today that people would just come out and vote," she said near the end of the day in Lutz. "It's been a great day."

-- Michael Sandler can be reached at (813) 226-3472 or sandler@sptimes.com.

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From the Times election desk

National
  • Recount: Presidency hangs on Florida duel
  • Hour by hour, outcome gets more uncertain
  • State by state
  • Republicans make gains in skirmish for 83 seats
  • Uneasy mood in Austin flips as votes do
  • Voters swayed by economy, health care, education, Social Security
  • Too close to call in Florida but TV did -- regretfully
  • Presidential campaign lures people to polls
  • Fight for Congress: no clear-cut winner
  • Election 2000 in brief

  • State
  • Nelson takes Senate seat
  • Republican Crist well on path to victory
  • Incumbent Crow slightly ahead
  • Race turns into nail-biter
  • Byrd dominating in bid for third term
  • Farkas soundly beats Fischer
  • Foster breaks ahead, takes lead over Baldwin
  • Wallace jumps to early lead over his challenger
  • Henriquez holds strong lead
  • Cowin gains ground in home county
  • Incumbent strides ahead of newcomer
  • Justice leading Kersteen by a comfortable margin
  • Murman headed for second term
  • Newcomer battle ends with Republican Berfield as victor
  • Waters blocks Brennan challenge
  • Miller's hopes look to be affirmed
  • Miller overpowers former Democrat
  • Floridians keep right to elect judges
  • Crist has slight lead on Castor
  • Thurman keeps District 5 seat
  • Bilirakis has big lead in District 9
  • C.W. Bill Young winning handily
  • Bullet train heading for success
  • Davis wins third term
  • Putnam takes early lead
  • Incumbent Russell's win thinner than predicted
  • GOP Rep. Miller is likely victor
  • Floridians keep right to elect judges
  • Gallagher coasts to victory and his old job
  • Littlefield again defeats McLaughlin
  • Fasano, Fiorentino winning return trip
  • Election roundup
  • Briefly

  • Pinellas
  • Pinellas commission now full
  • One race won by landslide, another by a single vote
  • Lealman heads toward fire tax
  • Bobel, Dedman win approval
  • All changes to charter pass voters' muster
  • Peluso, Henry lead pack of 5 candidates

  • Hillsborough
  • Voters favor most amendments
  • Democrats bustle to get the vote out
  • Iorio builds her solid lead on record
  • Holt closing in on a third term
  • Term limits prevailing
  • Ober poised in attorney race
  • Republicans may reign in commission
  • Ake appears on his way to keep tenure unbroken
  • Results mixed on city amendments
  • Incumbent trails in four-way race
  • Two incumbents, Miller leading

  • Pasco
  • Altman holds slim lead
  • Challenger upsets incumbent Cannon
  • Second run is the charm for Schrader
  • Johnson captures Meadow Pointe post

  • Hernando
  • Bernardini bests longtime adversary
  • Sikes will succeed her sister upon retirement
  • Experienced teacher wins out over mom
  • Williams captures historic win
  • Early tally: Andrews first, Martin second, Hollander third
  • Democrats take over the board
  • Big ticket polls' big draw

  • Citrus
  • Activist Warren sails past Cooper
  • Council incumbents out; new mayor in
  • Schultz wins, will serve a final term ending in 2004
  • Hickey wins Citrus superintendent race
  • Bush is easy winner in the schoolhouse
  • Eager voters met with long lines
  • Candidate bounces out of hospital to ply voters


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    national wire
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