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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Two of a kind until Social Security comes up



Two of the three Democrats on the ballot for the U.S. House District 9 Democratic primary - former Plant City Mayor John Dicks and Tampa attorney Bill Mitchell - expressed similar views on several issues at a forum Monday hosted by the Greater Tarpon Springs Democratic Club.

* Both candidates said they support the creation of a national catastrophic insurance fund to alleviate Florida's property insurance crisis.
* Both said they supported a family care tax credit for those caring for elderly or disabled relatives.
* Regarding gas prices, Mitchell said he wanted to see an investigation into the role of speculation in driving prices up. Dicks said he supports oversight of energy futures speculators. Both said they were not in favor of lifting a ban on offshore drilling.

But the agreement ended on social security. Mitchell said it was premature to talk about cutting benefits, and that economic growth was the key to the system’s longterm viability. Dicks, on the other hand, said he favors gradually raising the retirement age as opposed to cutting benefits or raising rates.

The third Democratic candidate, Anita de Palma, was out of the country and unable to attend. Former Clearwater Mayor Rita Garvey represented de Palma at the forum. Garvey did not participate in the question and answer session, but gave brief opening and closing statements in support of de Palma.

- Rita Farlow, Times Staff Writer

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:31am]


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