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Incumbent Crow slightly ahead

By KATHERINE GAZELLA

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 8, 2000


PALM HARBOR -- State Rep. Larry Crow was leading a close race against Democratic challenger Sue Humphreys Tuesday night.

With more than 80 percent of the precincts counted, Crow, a Republican from Palm Harbor, held a narrow lead in the race for District 49.

It was the first race in which Crow attracted a challenger since being elected in 1994. He said he was not surprised at the closeness of the race and he expected he would prevail.

"I'm just excited and humbled and gratified," Crow said.

He criticized Humphreys for making "personal attacks" against him about his attendance record at legislative committee meetings. Humphreys pointed out that he missed numerous meetings and had signs printed that referred to him as "No Show."

Crow, 40, is an attorney who represents the company that runs SunCruz gambling boats out of several Gulf of Mexico ports.

Humphreys, a 53-year-old real estate property manager who lives in Dunedin, said she had no regrets about launching a campaign against an established incumbent. She said it was important to raise the issues of campaign finance reform, as well as to focus on Crow's absences from committee hearings in Tallahassee.

"I had hoped we had reached enough of the voters with our message," she said.

Humphreys mostly used her own money to finance her campaign.

Throughout her campaign, Humphreys went door to door to introduce herself to people in the district, which snakes from Tarpon Springs to Pinellas Park and includes parts of Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Clearwater and Largo.

In 1996, she made an unsuccessful bid to unseat state Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Palm Harbor.

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