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By JIM ROSS
© St. Petersburg Times, published November 8, 2000
U.S. Rep. Karen Thurman cruised to a fifth consecutive term in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Thurman, D-Dunnellon, scored a solid victory over Republican challenger Pete Enwall. Thurman represents the 5th Congressional District, which includes Citrus, Hernando, west Pasco and all or part of four other counties.
"I guess I would have to say that the most important thing is that, in this election, people tried to take hits at us, tried to put us in a frame that we forgot who we represent," Thurman said.
But, "the pure numbers that we've received in this election showed that . . . we've taken a message to Washington, and it's a message that people believed in. And it showed that we were in touch," Thurman said.
Thurman is a former teacher who served in city government in Dunnellon and as a state senator before being elected to Congress in 1992. She has been there ever since. Enwall, a Gainesville lawyer, never has held office.
In the campaign, Thurman reminded voters that she helped secure primary care medical clinics for veterans and has worked to include prescription drug coverage as part of Medicare.
Enwall differed with Thurman on some issues. But the thrust of his campaign was that America is in a state of moral decline and needed strong leaders to help restore honor and decency.