Ex-Plant City mayor: I can beat Bilirakis
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02/14/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday | Listen to this entire show:

Although there has been considerable media focus on the presidential primaries, the Republican Party is working furiously to retake the House of Representatives, which they lost in 2006 after maintaining control there for the past 12 years.

But GOP thoughts of taking the House back decrease daily, with more representatives announcing that they will not seek re-election.

The latest Republican congressman to announce he won’t run again is Arizona’s John Shadegg. He is the 29th to announce he is stepping down this year.

Democrats, on the other hand, are hungry to increase their majority status. One seat that it appears the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is targeting is Florida’s 9th Congressional District, currently occupied by freshman Gus Bilirakis.

There are four Democrats running to replace Bilirakis, including former Plant City Mayor John Dicks. WMNF spoke with Dicks earlier this week in Tampa.

Also in the race for the Democratic nomination to face Gus Bilirakis this November are Navy veteran Bill Mitchell and paramedic Michael van Hoek. The Tampa Tribune reported last month that Anita de Palma, the former Florida director of the League of United Latin American Citizens, was in the race.

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