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U.S. House of Representatives District 11 candidates

Incumbent Democratic Rep. Kathy Castor faces off against political novice Mike Prendergast, a retired Army colonel from Tampa who spent 31 years on active duty.

About the job: District 11 includes a large part of Tampa, a chunk of southern St. Petersburg and part of northern Manatee County. The Washington, D.C., job pays $174,000 a year.

More about these candidates

Kathy Castor, 44

D Mike Prendergast, 54

Retired Army colonel
Castor served as assistant general counsel for the Florida Department of Community Affairs in the 1990s, was on the Hillsborough County Commission from 2002 to 2006 and has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2006. Experience Prendergast served in the U.S. Army from 1978 to 2009. He also served as a defense policy adviser as a political science fellow for former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham. He has no political experience.
Earned a bachelor of arts degree from Emory University in 1988 and a Juris Doctor from Florida State University College of Law in 1991. Education Bachelor's degrees from Jacksonville State University, University of the State of New York and Campbell University; and master's degrees from the University of Florida, Troy State University and the U.S. Army War College.
Castor said her top priority is restoring jobs. She said Tampa Bay needs jobs in medical and green energy fields, and the United States must keep jobs from going overseas. She highlighted a bill she supported in Congress that she said would help small businesses secure loans. Where do you think the economy is headed? How would you help pull us out of recession? Prendergast expressed frustration at the latest double-digit unemployment numbers, saying, "That's just another indicator that what we're doing in Washington, D.C., is not working." He wants to reduce business regulations, lower taxes and cut spending. He's also wants to make Bush-era tax cuts permanent.
Castor said she continues to stand behind President Barack Obama and Gen. David Petraeus' plan to redeploy out of Afghanistan starting next year. She criticized Prendergast for insisting there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, a notion widely considered untrue, she said. How much longer do you think we'll need to be in Afghanistan? Prendergast disagrees with creating a timetable for withdrawal. As for Castor's criticism of his belief that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, he said, "It's unconscionable for a public official to stand up there and deny something that's as black and white as that."
She said holding BP accountable for the oil spill in the gulf and preserving Social Security and Medicare were of top importance. What are the other issues on your mind? He said a top goal is eliminating the deficit. He added that bringing accountability to Washington was one of the main reasons he entered the race.
Investments, bank accounts, homes in Tampa and Washington, D.C. Assets House, cars and boat
Mortgage on Washington, D.C., home Liabilities Mortgage, car payment
U.S. representative salary, husband's law firm income Income Salary from Systems Research and Affiliations in Fairfax, Va.
Married with two daughters Personal Married with one son Website E-mail

U.S. House of Representatives District 11 candidates 10/05/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 6, 2010 2:08pm]
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