Samm Simpson hopes to make it on the Ballot by Mitch E. Perry

04/11/06

The Tampa Tribune reported today that the top candidates running for Congress in Florida’s 9th District, Republican Gus Bilirakis and Democrat Phyllis Busansky, paid the $9, 726 filing fee to get on the ballot.

But for Bilirakis, payment came after he gave up on an attempt to qualify to get on the ballot the only other way, by getting a certain required amount of signatures.

A spokesperson for the state legislator says he collected about 3,500 signatures, far short of the 4, 497 registered voters required to get on the ballot. But spokesperson Elizabeth Hittos told the Tribune that NOT qualifying by petition is not a failure, because their main goal was to active grass-roots volunteers.

Busansky ripped on Bilirakis for not getting enough signatures, calling it an embarrassment. The two are locked into what could be a very competitive open seat for Congress. The district covers parts of Pasco, Pinellas, and Hillsborough Counties – and is looked upon nationally by Democrats as one of big opportunities if they are going to have any chance of winning the House in November.

Another Tampa Bay Area congressional candidate DID turn in more than the required amount of signatures to the local Supervisor of Elections office. Now she can only wait to see if enough of those are deemed legitimate to qualify for the November ballot.

That would be Samm Simpson, who is trying to become the Democrat nominee against longtime Pinellas County Republican Congressman C.W. Bill Young, (roll tape#1 o.q.�as of tomorrow�)

For years, rumors have surfaced that the incumbent in District 10, Bill Young, is on the verge of retirement. This year marks his 36th in Congress, but he shows no signs of slowing down…..Last year Young stepped down after 6 years as Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, one of the most powerful in Congress in that it oversees the entire federal budget.

Although through re-districting, the District may lean a little more to the left, beating Young will be a formidable task for an established Democrat, forget a first time candidate. But Samm Simpson says if she does become the Democratic nominee, she isn’t worrying that she won’t have the financial heft to compete (roll tape#2�won with money�)

That’s aspiring Democratic Congressional candidate Samm Simpson, who yesterday turned in more than the required number of signatures to qualify to get on the ballot to run against Pinellas County Republican Bill Young this November.

Simpson will learn tomorrow (Wednesday) if she has enough valid signatures to get on the ballot.

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