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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

No clear leader in District 9 primary?



That's the word according to one of the three Democrats vying to challenge U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor.

A poll commissioned by Bill Mitchell's campaign found 69 percent of Democrats are still undecided on who they’ll vote for in next month’s primary. Mitchell and Anita de Palma, past Florida director of the League of United Latin American Citizens, both garnered 11 percent of the voters, while former Plant City Mayor Dicks netted 8 percent. The survey, which used a small sample of 400 likely primary voters and had a +/- 4.9 margin of error, showed no clear front-runner, said campaign consultant Anne Drake.

Results indicated voters identified more with Mitchell’s professional and military background, Drake said. “We were very energized with that. That really sent us flying off the top,” she said.

Mitchell also edged out Dicks – who served 12 years as a city commissioner and mayor - on name recognition, Drake said.

District 9 spans northern Pinellas, western Pasco and suburban Hillsborough counties.

- Rita Farlow, Times staff writer

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:30am]


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