Saturday, August 19, 2006


"This is probably the most important county for campaigning in Central Florida. That's because it turns out voters and they are pretty evenly split between registered Democrats and Republicans, although they have all performed well for Republicans. It used to be that Pinellas was a bellwether in the elections. Now it is Polk and Pasco."

Florida Senate President and Republican State Chief Financial Officer candidate Tom Lee of Brandon, quoted in today's Lakeland Ledger during an interview Friday at the Haines City Chamber of Commerce's annual Political Pig Roast. The event attracted around 600 people who paid $50 each (candidates paid $75).

I'm sure that some folks were disappointed that the only major gubernatorial candidate from either party to appear was State Senator Rod Smith of Alachua, but a few of the little-known longshots did make it, as Ledger political writer Bill Rufty reported:

"The audience heard from John Wayne Smith, Libertarian candidate for governor, who said at an earlier reception that he was embarrassed to admit as a Libertarian he helped to build 14 public schools in Polk. Libertarians support minimal government and most oppose a governmental school system.

"Also speaking was Glenn Burkett, a little-known Democratic candidate for governor who said what many better-known candidates also mentioned: Florida's biggest crisis is the cost of homeowners insurance.

"Also running on the Democratic ticket for governor was Carol Castagnero, who complained she hasn't gotten enough attention from the newspapers.

"Lawrence Scott, a write-in candidate for the U.S. Senate, also spoke."


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