LUTZ — They make extravagant promises. They dream of being sworn into office on a copy of Green Eggs and Ham. And they want the red-and-white topper worn by the Cat in the Hat. • But one thing candidates for the Guv'na of Lutz don't do is take themselves seriously. • This year, the 19th annual race for Guv'na features author Suzin Carr, coffee shop proprietor Michelle Mitchell, restaurateur Shael Morgan and Kay Taylor of the Lutz-Land O'Lakes Women's Club. The winner will be installed at the Fourth of July parade. • For all its drollery, the race serves a serious purpose: raising money for community causes. Last year, candidates raised $22,046 for about two dozen local organizations. • This year's campaign continues at 7 p.m. Thursday with a tongue-in-cheek "debate" at the Lutz Community Center, 98 First Ave. NW. Can't wait? Then meet the candidates today in their own words on Page 4.
Suzin Helen Carr | author of children's book I Choose
Why me: To empower the people of Lutz and the world with the knowledge of choices humans make every day.
Favorite thing about Lutz: Seeing friendly people we know everywhere we go and the constant community spirit and hometown feeling.
Lutz's worst-kept secret: The pothole at the Hanna and Hanna stop sign (near Learning Gate Community School).
If the Guv'na had real power, I would … Have meatballs at every meal and a gnome hidden inside my car to keep it clean and tidy.
Michelle Mitchell | owner Barnie's Coffee/Ava's Cafe
Why me: It is a great way to get to know Lutz. I would like to get to know more about the local businesses and the people who live here.
My favorite thing about Lutz: The small-town feel.
Lutz's best-kept secret: Barnie's Coffee/Ava's Cafe.
Lutz's worst-kept secret: Not sure there is one.
If the Guv'na had real power, I would … Triple property values.
Shael Morgan | owner of Rapscallions restaurant
Why me: I have a good fundraising resource through my business, and I think that the community could benefit through my candidacy. Plus, I would like to wear the Cat in the Hat hat!
Favorite thing about Lutz: Even though we are part of a large neighborhood, it seems that we are in the middle of nowhere. It is really pleasant.
If the Guv'na had real power, I would … Expand Lutz-Lake Fern Road to two lanes each way. … I'd assign a sheriff's deputy to ticket the 90 percent or so of people who speed through school zones morning and afternoon.
Kay Taylor | of the Lutz-Land O'Lakes Women's Club
Why me: I love living here and want to become a more integral part of the community. I feel that I have talents that could serve the community in a positive way.
Favorite thing about Lutz: The people
Lutz's best-kept secret: The Women's Club. … I have never been part of a group who works as hard.
If the Guv'na had real power, I would … Guarantee rain one day a week (and) an orange tree in every yard. Have the Taylor Trolley provide transportation to all businesses in Lutz. Free summer camp for all kids. Provide a personal masseur for all citizens to receive a massage once a week. Maid service for all.
Compiled by Richard Danielson, Times staff writer