Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando County goes public with its politics

Megan Sacks, 15, gives the thumbs up at Grace Presbyterian Church in Spring Hill, the polling place for precinct Nos. 19 and 28, on Tuesday. She said, “We had this Republican fabric at home and my mom made me this outfit.”

LANCE ARAM ROTHSTEIN | Times

Megan Sacks, 15, gives the thumbs up at Grace Presbyterian Church in Spring Hill, the polling place for precinct Nos. 19 and 28, on Tuesday. She said, “We had this Republican fabric at home and my mom made me this outfit.”

Election Day arrived in Hernando County in a whirlwind of red, white and blue. The election featured tight races for the White House and the County Commission, plus a historic referendum in Spring Hill, sparing nothing in terms of enthusiasm among voters and candidates alike. Hernando Times staffers chronicled the day from all parts of the county. Here's what we saw:

• • •

Megan Sacks, 15, and her mother, Tracy, win the campaign spirit award.

Sacks donned a vest and skirt made from a fabric patterned with the word "Republican" and the GOP's elephant logo.

"Everyone at school was wearing these Obama shirts and Obama buttons and I wanted to be different," said Megan Sacks, outside the precincts at Grace Presbyterian Church in Spring Hill.

"So we had this Republican fabric at home and my mom made me this outfit to wear to school today."

Before school started Sacks posed in her outfit next to a huge McCain-Palin sign with two thumbs up.

You betcha!

• • •

Cassandra Clayton, 41, is the owner of Happyland Daycare in Brooksville. She's also a persuasive force this election.

When lifelong Republican LaDonna Garman, 31, came to pick up her 5-year-old daughter, Parker, Clayton gave her the hard sell for Obama. And it worked.

"I've always been a Republican ever since I started voting," Garman said. "My family has always said that the Democrats were for higher taxes. But (Clayton) has been telling me how Obama is really for helping out the middle and lower class."

As Garman left the daycare center, she headed for her precinct, to cast her first vote for a Democrat.

• • •

Sarah Klein said John McCain is too old to be president. And she should know.

The Altria Woods resident was born in March 1907 when women couldn't vote. She has seen many elections.

"One candidate was too old," she said of McCain.

As for Obama: "I'm not sure if the other is always truthful about what he's going to do."

Still, in the end she voted for the Republican ticket because of vice presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin.

"I think she can kind of help (McCain) along," Klein said.

• • •

The polls were not the only place with long lines Tuesday.

On State Road 50 in Spring Hill, voters could trade their "I Voted' stickers for free chicken sandwiches at Chick-Fil-A and free coffee at Starbucks.

The line at Chick-Fil-A stretched from the counter to the front window at one point. "We've been cookin' and cookin' and cookin'," said a cashier with eyes stretched wide in a look of disbelief.

The Starbucks crowd felt more collegial as a dozen-plus caffeine lovers spawned impromptu discussions about this much-discussed election season.

Voting, apparently, makes you hungry.

• • •

The typical youthful faces of Obama's campaign volunteers are not exactly what you found in Hernando County.

At 3 p.m., as Election Day wound down, Obama's Campaign for Change office on Spring Hill Drive teemed with a dozen or more helpers — all senior citizens.

Some had spent the day canvassing neighborhoods while others helped transport voters to the polls.

The office was decorated from corner to corner with Obama images. A poster even hung in the bathroom.

All were working hard, eagerly but cautiously looking forward to a party after polls closed.

A victory party, they all hoped.

Times Staff Writers Logan Neill, Joel Anderson and Thomas Marshall and Staff Photographer Lance Rothstein contributed to this report.

John Frank can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 754-6114.

Hernando County goes public with its politics 11/04/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 4, 2008 8:58pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. College basketball scandal dips into Tampa Bay

    Preps

    Tuesday's national college basketball scandal has recruiting ties to Tampa Bay.

    In this March 15, 2012, file photo, San Diego State assistant coach Tony Bland, left, talks during NCAA college basketball practice in Columbus, Ohio. Bland was identified in court papers, and is among 10 people facing federal charges in Manhattan federal court, Tuesday in a wide probe of fraud and corruption in the NCAA, authorities said. [AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File]
  2. Datz to open in St. Petersburg, join the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art

    Food & Dining

    Now Datz news.

    Get it? Tuesday, Datz, the longtime line-out-the-door, oft-Instagrammed and -Yelped Tampa stalwart known for shock-and-awe sandwiches and oh-so-much bacon, announced it is coming to St. Petersburg.

    Lunch guest eat at Datz Deli at 2616 South MacDill Ave. in Tampa. Times files.
  3. Republican leader McConnell pulls the plug on latest Obamacare repeal effort

    WASHINGTON --- Sen. Mitch McConnell on Tuesday officially pulled the plug on the latest plan to repeal the health care law, telling senators they will not vote on the measure and effectively admitting defeat in the last-gasp drive to fulfill a core promise of President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. listens during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, after the Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos as education secretary. DeVos was approved by the narrowest of margins, with Vice President Mike Pence breaking a 50-50 tie in a historic vote. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) DCSA119
  4. Lightning's Brayden Point could be perfect fit alongside Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov

    Lightning Strikes

    SUNRISE — Brayden Point ended last season as the Lightning's No. 1 center, thrust into the role as a rookie due to injuries.

    Lightning center Brayden Point (21) advances the puck through the neutral zone during Friday's preseason game against the Nashville Predators. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times]
  5. For starters: Rays at Yankees, with Blake Snell starting, Wilson Ramos cashing in

    Blogs

    The Rays open their final road series of the season tonight at Yankee Stadium, which is also where they played their first of the season.

    LHP Blake Snell will be on the mound for the Rays, looking to continue his successful late-season run, in which he is 4-0, 2,57 over his last eight starts.

    Tonight marks Wilson Ramos' 55th start of the season.