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    Dunedin mayor eyes seat just filled

    He says he's interested in the seat held by Rep. Larry Crow, who will leave office in two years.

    By LEON M. TUCKER

    © St. Petersburg Times, published November 15, 2000


    DUNEDIN -- Dunedin's Mayor Tom Anderson was re-elected in February. State Rep. Larry Crow, R-Palm Harbor, was re-elected last week.

    Both have years left in their terms. But that hasn't stopped the mayor from campaigning for the representative's job.

    In fact, Anderson said he has spent two months talking with voters, gauging what support he will have when he campaigns for the state House seat.

    "The advice a number of people have given me is to get going on it," Anderson said. "Most people probably start some activity six months from now, so I'm not that far off."

    Anderson, a Republican, will be vying for the District 49 seat Crow has held since 1994. Crow will vacate the position in two years because of term limits.

    Crow was unable to be reached for comment.

    Darryl Paulson, professor of government at the University of South Florida, said that although it is unusual for a state legislative race to start this early, some potential candidatesannounce their intentions to discourage competition.

    "Starting your campaigning this early isn't terribly productive because no one is interested," Paulson said. "People who commit early do it to try to scare off opponents and try to get early commitments. Most individuals who are active in politics don't like to back someone this early unless the candidate has extraordinary appeal."

    In February, Anderson was elected to his third term. He ran unopposed.

    "It will be about two years before this comes up, and I would have been mayor for about nine years," he said. "I think it's time to do something different and provide a service to northern Pinellas County."

    State House District 49 snakes from Tarpon Springs to Pinellas Park and includes parts of Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Clearwater and Largo. State representatives serve two-year terms and are paid $27,900 annually.

    - Information from Times files was used in this report.

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