St. Petersburg Times Online: Election 2000
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House District 60 race won by smallest margin


© St. Petersburg Times, published November 9, 2000

TAMPA -- Deep into the early morning, while the rest of the nation eagerly awaited the tally on Florida's votes for president, Sara Romeo was focused on a different count.

Shortly before 4 a.m. Wednesday, Romeo edged out Ed Homan for the Florida House of Representatives seat in District 60 by the most narrow margin of any Hillsborough County race -- 336 votes.

"I always felt it would be very close," said Romeo, the Democratic candidate.

The 336 votes represented a difference of less than one percent of total votes cast for either candidate and was just shy of the state's threshold of the one-half of one percent that mandates a recount.

Romeo garnered 50.49 percent (17,263 votes) to Homan's 49.51 percent (16,927 votes). Homan, the Republicans' candidate, said Wednesday he will not ask for a re-count.

District 60 includes Temple Terrace, Tampa Palms, Lutz, the University of South Florida area, Mango, Seffner and Thonotosassa.

Romeo, 51, is executive director of Artists Unlimited, a non-profit group that provides affordable studio space to emerging artists. She ran on a platform of education reform, including reduced class sizes and increased teachers' salaries.

When the polls closed, Romeo and her supporters anxiously watched for updates on the Internet into the early morning. "We closed down the town last night," said Romeo.

Homan, a 57-year-old orthopedic surgeon from Temple Terrace, thanked the nearly 200 volunteers who stayed up with him on election night. "I'm not one for second guessing and saying "what if,' " Homan said. "I put out a big effort, met a lot of people and learned a lot about our government."

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