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Pasco cities open single polling place for Tuesday elections

If you're heading to the polls Tuesday to vote in any of the municipal races, take note: Each city will have just one polling place open for this election.

It's a cost-cutting move for three cities: New Port Richey normally has eight polling locations, while Zephyrhills has three and Dade City has two. (Port Richey voters have always gone to a single precinct.)

"This way, we don't have to pay for all the poll workers," said Tom O'Neill, New Port Richey city manager. "I think it's a good thing. We are smaller, and to get to our recreation facility is still just a drive that's a few minutes. It's easily accessible."

Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley said he's expecting a low voter turnout.

"I'll go 15-20 percent, with the caveat that if it's higher than that, I am glad to be wrong," he said Friday. "That's what democracy is all about."

In last year's races, Zephyrhills and New Port Richey had 10 percent voter turnout.

But Port Richey's voter turnout was the highest at 43 percent. Corley attributed that to the city's nonbinding referendum on whether to spend $250,000 or more to dissolve the city.

"We are expecting a moderate turnout," Corley said. "I am expecting a little higher in Dade City and Port Richey. There's several contested races, more than the other cities."

In other campaign news, Friday was the last day for candidates in all four cities to file their campaign finance reports.

In Port Richey's City Council race, where three seats are up for grabs, competition for campaign dollars was tight. Political newcomer Perry Bean led the pack at $3,391. Incumbent Nancy Britton was a close second with $3,240.

Third was Phil Abts, also a newcomer to city politics, with $2,460. Incumbents Dale Massad and Steven O'Neill raised $2,370 and $1,645, respectively.

In New Port Richey's mayoral race, lawyer Scott McPherson led with $6,345.

Bob Langford, a former council member who lost a mayoral bid in 2006, raised $1,700. Another former council member, Tom Finn, raised $250.

In New Port Richey's City Council race, Glenn Hanff, an independent contractor, raised $2,885, while Judy DeBella Thomas, the executive director of Greater New Port Richey Main Street, trailed closely behind with $2,345.

Susan M. Clark, a former council member, raised $1,650.

In Zephyrhills' City Council race, Jodi Wilkeson raised $2,425; Sean Fernandez raised $1,182; Bob White raised $407; and Michael Payne raised $350.

Campaign finance report totals were incomplete Friday afternoon in Dade City, where three city commission seats are up for grabs.

But three totals were available: Steve Van Gorden, who is challenging Robert Avila, raised $10,980.

Curtis Beebe, who is running against Jim Shive, raised $7,215.

And Eunice Penix, who is running against Mike Agnello, raised $2,850.

Camille C. Spencer can be reached at cspencer@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6229.

>>Where to vote

Polling places

For Tuesday's municipal elections:

Dade City: First Baptist Church, 37511 Church Ave.

New Port Richey: New Port Richey Recreation Center, 6630 Van Buren St.

Port Richey: Knights of Columbus Hall, 5850 K of C Drive.

Zephyrhills: Alice Hall Community Center, 38116 Fifth Ave.

Questions? Call the Supervisor of Elections Office toll-free at 1-800-851-8754.

Pasco cities open single polling place for Tuesday elections 04/04/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 8, 2008 8:18am]
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