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De Palma wins Democratic House 9th District race

In one of the least contentious races, Hispanic activist Anita de Palma defeated Phil Hindahl by a decisive margin in the Democratic primary for the 9th Congressional District.

De Palma, 73, who lost the primary for the same race in 2008, said she was pleased that the people listened to her.

"I tried to explain this time around that my interest was my district. I think we need to have a voice out there," she said.

The candidates neither faced off to debate nor publicly criticized each other during the campaign.

Hindahl said the civility was purposeful.

"We agreed we need to put a Democrat in the seat and that there weren't going to be any negative attacks in the primary," said Hindahl, 48, who works as an assistant public defender for the 6th Judicial Circuit.

Upon news of her victory, de Palma complimented her opponent's intelligence, education and demeanor.

"He's very much a gentleman in the true sense of the word," de Palma said.

De Palma, who served four years as state director of the League of United Latin American Citizens, is most passionate about overhauling federal immigration law.

De Palma, who works as an interpreter, also worked decades as a nightclub performer.

The district includes portions of Pasco, Pinellas, and Hillsborough counties. In November, de Palma, who has never held public office, will face incumbent Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor, who is serving his second term.

De Palma wins Democratic House 9th District race 08/24/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 24, 2010 10:27pm]
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