St. Petersburg Times Online: Election 2000
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather

printer version

Recount blurs result in Crystal River race


© St. Petersburg Times, published November 9, 2000

CRYSTAL RIVER -- Moments after learning he had won by five votes, Ron Kitchen was sworn in as mayor of Crystal River. After two previous attempts, it was a satisfying win for the 44-year-old developer.

It was a short celebration, though, as county election officials began a recount Wednesday, raising the possibility that Kitchen could be out of a job nearly as fast as he got in.

Under state law, a recount is in order because the split, 742-737, was so close. The results are expected to be released today.

"I'm used to not spending money until the check comes in the mail," said Kitchen, sounding nonetheless confident he would prevail over Sidney Kennedy.

As he walked out of City Hall on Tuesday night, Kennedy, 60, said he would not request a recount. Yet the following morning he began to reconsider.

"I was just thinking it was awful close," he said.

While they waited, both men reflected on what they could have done to ensure a decisive victory. "Maybe a few more door knockings could have gotten a few more votes," said Kennedy.

Most voters interviewed at the polls said they found both candidates adequate. They were credited for caring deeply about the city and for wanting to put an end to divisiveness among City Council members.

Facing a candidate who grew up in town and was backed by a vocal, influential political bloc, Kitchen kicked off his campaign in February, a half-year earlier than Kennedy.

"There is a powerful machine out there, and you never take that for granted," said Kitchen, who moved to Crystal River in 1987 and runs a golf course development company. "That's why I knew to win I had to run hard."

In addition to door-to-door politicking, Kitchen began collecting contributions from friends and business associates.

He raised more than $4,600. Kennedy, by contrast, raised about $1,200. Kitchen was able to buy dozens of campaign signs and send two direct mailings to many of the city's 2,400 voters. His opponent stuck to walking the streets.

"I was getting good response with door to door, so I just increased that endeavor in lieu of mailings," Kennedy said. "I don't know if you can buy your way in."

Back to Election 2000
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Special Links
Tim Nickens
The Presidential race
Florida races
Pinellas races
Hillsborough races
Pasco races
Hernando races
Citrus races

From the Times election desk


  • Recount begins as world watches
  • What a difference 12 hours makes
  • Voters statewide say they had poll troubles
  • Why the networks' call kept changing
  • Tired eyes watch over recount
  • Media rechecking their crystal balls
  • Wall Street joins nation in long wait
  • Election mania has everyone talking, waiting
  • Remarks by George W. Bush, Al Gore on the election returns
  • The victor must earn legitimacy by uniting
  • A Rather long night
  • Inside the Electoral College
  • Overseas ballots suddenly crucial
  • Presidential results
  • Election results
  • U.S. Senate winners
  • Governor winners
  • Election briefs
  • U.S. House winners
  • State

  • A night the Bushes won't forget
  • Funding for train mystifies officials
  • Capitol leaders predict less partisan session
  • Disclosure's role debated
  • Pinellas

  • Gore vote says GOP has edge, not a lock, in Pinellas County
  • Three recounts needed in fire district race
  • Vote shocks senior center's fans
  • Hillsborough

  • Gore won city; Bush swept the suburbs
  • Tired eyes watch over recount
  • House District 60 race won by smallest margin
  • Easterling says knocking on doors helped her win
  • To their regret, non-voters learn: It matters
  • So much to count, so little time
  • Pasco

  • Decision on sheriff brings prayers, tears
  • Cannon became his 'own worst enemy'
  • Recount gives a new name to fatigue: Chad
  • Cannon has only himself to blame for his downfall
  • Two new commissioners aren't passive
  • Hernando

  • Democrats: New force in Hernando
  • Voters discard politics of race in picking elections supervisor
  • All around the county, the election is the word
  • Recount dominates day after elections
  • Citrus

  • Citrus first in state to give results
  • Hickey hopes to mend rifts
  • Republicans fare well with Citrus voters
  • Recount blurs result in Crystal River race
  • Collector, appraiser victors are grateful
  • Election results
  • Votes hit close to home for these two
  • Activist was wild card in race
  • Results leave many befuddled
  • Council races hinged on past contretemps

  • From the AP
    national wire
  • Bush Pledges Iraq Arms Hunt Will Continue
  • 'Partial Birth' Abortion Ban Passes House