General Election edition
Know Your Candidates 2000
The St. Petersburg Times has prepared this Know Your Candidates section to help voters with their choices on Tuesday's general election, which will decide the next president, a U.S. senator from Florida, state legislators and many important local seats. This section includes stories about each race or ballot question and brief biographies of the candidates. Also in this section are polling place listings and maps, as well as sample ballots.
The differences between the front-runners in this year's presidential campaign lie in the details.
Despite similarities stretching from their childhoods to their congressional voting records on fiscal matters, Bill McCollum and Bill Nelson find themselves on opposite sides in the U.S. Senate race.
Fifth U.S. Congressional District
Karen Thurman is proud of her record in office, while challenger Peter Enwall calls attention to her vote on the president's impeachment.
Ninth U.S. Congressional District
Republican Mike Bilirakis has held this seat since 1983. But unlike the last time he faced re-election, voters will have an alternative on Tuesday.
10th U.S. Congressional District
The District 10 race pits a longtime incumbent with a powerful chairmanship against two challengers who would be new to the Washington scene.
11th U.S. Congressional District
The issues include government spending, education policy and Social Security as a two-term incumbent bids for another term.
12th U.S. Congressional District
In this race, political experience lies on the side of the 26-year-old state representative. His opponent, a 50-year-old car dealer, has never held elected office.
13th U.S. Congressional District
A four-term Republican incumbent faces a challenge from a Democrat campaigning on a shoestring budget.
State offices and issues
Voters will choose among three candidates in the state's last election for this post, which will become an appointed position in two years.
Both Tom Gallagher and John Cosgrove can boast of extensive experience with the state's insurance laws.
Circuit Court, County Court Judge Referendums
A 1998 constitutional amendment confronts voters with a decision on whether to adopt a new method for picking judges.
High-Speed Rail -- Constitutional Amendment
Voters will have their say on an unusual bid to rewrite the state's constitution to force the construction of a high-speed railway.
State House and Senate
District 44 Florida House
Challenger Gregory Williams and incumbent David Russell are the last survivors of a crowded primary field.
District 45 Florida House
State Rep. Mike Fasano, the Republican incumbent, is the only candidate who qualified to appear on the ballot in this race.
District 46 Florida House
Both candidates are concerned with education and the environment, but their campaign styles are very different.
District 47 Florida House
Government spending, experience, growth management, the environment and education are issues as a three-term incumbent faces a challenge from a consumer advocate.
District 48 Florida House
The incumbent and challenger in this race both focus on health care improvements, seniors' issues and more accessibility for elected officials.
District 49 Florida House
A three-term incumbent faces a low-profile Democratic challenger.
District 50 Florida House
The disparity between the candidates' ages -- one is 45, the other 29 -- has become an issue in this campaign.
District 51 Florida House
Mary Brennan is running to regain the seat she gave up two years ago, while Leslie Waters says she'd like to stay.
District 52 Florida House
This big money race pits an incumbent against the woman he defeated for the office in 1998.
District 53 Florida House
A former legislative aide faces off against a St. Petersburg City Council member for this seat.
District 56 Florida House
Voters will pick between an incumbent who switched parties and a challenger who used to campaign for her.
District 58 Florida House
The incumbent was the challenger two years ago. This time around, he has the financial advantage, and his opponent is going door-to-door for support.
District 60 Florida House
Two rookie politicians are seeking this seat, vacated when the incumbent was ousted by term limits.
District 61 Florida House
This year's race for the seat is a rematch of last year's special election between Ken Littlefield and Larry McLaughlin.
District 62 Florida House
The candidates agree -- voters want action on education policy first and foremost.
District 11 Florida Senate
While state Sen. Anna Cowin and Leslie Scales come from similar backgrounds, the distinction between the two isn't hard to find.
District 13 Florida Senate
Kathy Castor targets education funding and growth management as her issues. Victor Crist cites his experience and commitment to the office.
District 21 Florida Senate
The two major-party candidates in this district agree on the troubles facing residents and even on the basics of the best approach to a solution.
Pinellas Suncoast Fire and Rescue District
Four candidates are seeking two seats on this agency's board, created by changes to the former Indian Rocks Fire District.
Citizens' Initiative Process -- Pinellas Countywide Referendum
A switch to a mix of single-member and at-large districts brought about this measure to update the county charter.
Annexation -- Pinellas Countywide Referendum
This amendment would change the way cities can annex unincorporated properties to reduce the chance of disputes.
County Administrator -- Pinellas Countywide Referendum
An increase in the number of seats on the County Commission has spurred this suggestion for changing the county charter.
District 3 Pinellas County Commission
County Commissioner Bob Stewart, the Republican incumbent, is the only candidate who qualified to appear on the ballot in this race.
District 6 Pinellas County Commission
An experienced lawmaker and a political newcomer are vying for the County Commission's geographically diverse District 6 seat.
District 7 Pinellas County Commission
Republican Brent Fisher and Democrat Ken Welch have faced off in an overwhelmingly grass-roots campaign.
District 1 Hillsborough County Commission
Stacey Lyn Easterling criticizes incumbent Ben Wacksman over campaign contributions, while Wacksman says her campaign is distorting his record.
District 3 Hillsborough County Commission
Challenger Joe Redner asks why incumbent Thomas Scott hasn't solved the district's troubles. Scott says asking questions isn't the same as having answers.
District 6 Hillsborough County Commission
Joe Chillura seeks to unseat incumbent Jan Platt two years after he left the commission in an unsuccessful bid for another office.
Hillsborough Public Defender
The challenger points to allegations of ethical wrongdoing, while the incumbent says her office has represented its clients well and cut costs.
Hillsborough State Attorney
This race has been shaped in large part by the suicide of State Attorney Harry Lee Coe.
Hillsborough Clerk of the Circuit Court
Republican Bart Siegel is the first challenger Richard Ake has faced since he was first elected.
Hillsborough Property Appraiser
An incumbent Republican faces a challenge from a Democrat he fired after taking office four years ago.
Hillsborough Supervisor of Elections
An incumbent who cites advancements in technology and vote-tallying faces a challenger who accuses the department of incompetence and corruption.
Term Limits -- City of Tampa Charter Amendments
Two ballot questions ask Tampa residents whether they want to repeal term limits for the mayor and City Council.
Other -- City of Tampa Charter Amendments
Questions on Tuesday's ballot simplify city government in several areas, including the management of city funds and creation of the annual budget.
Pasco County Sheriff
This year's campaign for the sheriff's post has been uncharacteristically low-key.
District 1 Pasco County Commission
Both east county candidates in this race face the challenge of a countywide campaign.
District 5 Pasco County Commission
Peter Altman and Jack Armstrong have bent over backward to avoid running negative campaigns.
Hernando Supervisor of Elections
Gus Guadagnino touts his new ideas while Annie Williams cites her extensive experience helping run this department.
Hernando Tax Collector
Both candidates say the main issue is how to prepare for the county's expected growth.
District 2 Hernando School Board
One candidate points to her experience as a former board member. The other calls herself an advocate for parents and teachers.
District 1 Hernando County Commission
With the incumbent commissioner defeated in the primary, voters will choose either Betty Whitehouse or Janey Baldwin as a replacement.
District 3 Hernando County Commission
Voters won't have to look far to find the differences between Diane Rowden and Carey Carlson.
District 5 Hernando County Commission
William "Alonzo" Merritt and Mary Coyne Aiken seem to work hard to avoid a polished political image.
Brooksville City Council
Joe Bernardini and Robert Pruitt are challenging Vice Mayor Pat Brayton.
Spring Hill Fire Rescue District
The top three vote-getters among these five candidates will earn seats on this board.
Hernando County Sheriff
Voters will select from three candidates to replace departing Sheriff Tom Mylander.
Seat 2 Crystal River City Council
Challenger Bonnie Taylor says she would be more effective on the council than sitting member Alex Ilnyckyj.
Seat 4 Crystal River City Council
Former City Manager Russell Kreager is challenging Paula Wheeler -- one of the council members responsible for his departure.
Beverly Hills Municipal Services Benefit Unit
Voters will decide whether to create a new taxing entity to help fund community improvements.
Crystal River Charter Amendments
Seven measures would rewrite parts of Crystal River's city charter.
Crystal River Mayor
Both candidates in this race hope to ease rancorous council meetings.
District 1 Citrus County Commisison
Issues in this race range from waterway protection and the Suncoast Parkway to impact fees and the Economic Development Council.
District 3 Citrus County Commission
Challenger Zoe McLendon questions Vicki Phillips' positions on the Suncoast Parkway and privatizing government services.
District 5 Citrus County Commission
The differences between the two candidates seeking this position lie in their views on growth management and job creation.
Citrus Property Appraiser
John Barnes says a new property appraiser will cut controversy. The incumbent, Ron Schultz, says that controversy works to residents' advantage.
Citrus Tax Collector
The two candidates to replace Norine Gilstrap have different opinions on this office's performance under her tenure.
Citrus Superintendent of Schools
The level at which community members and school administrators are involved in school district operations is at issue in this race.
Second District Court of Appeal
Seven judges appointed to handle appeals in a 14-county area face merit retention elections.
Group 3 Hillsborough County Judge
An incumbent points to the wide variety of cases she has handled, while her challenger seeks a chance to "make a difference."
Florida Supreme Court
Supreme Court justices R. Fred Lewis, Barbara J. Pariente and Peggy A. Quince face retention elections on next week's ballot.
13th Judicial Circuit, Group 25
Both candidates cite their experience -- one as a big-name prosecuting attorney, the other as a longtime defense attorney.
Fifth District Court of Appeal
Judge Emerson Thompson faces a merit retention election to stay on this court.
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