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After all the pitches, voters get the last word

Fuzzy math and fire rescue. Anti-incumbent rhetoric and anti-Muslim inflammatory bunk. Stealth candidates. Fear. Fault. Flip and flop. Hardly a campaign season of which to be proud.

Over the past few days, your mailbox, answering machine and e-mail in-basket have become receptacles for campaign statements boasting of dubious statistical achievements and questionable and/or false allegations against a candidate.

Consider the ugly bluster to be what we must endure every election year in a democratic society. Voters must sort through the emotional pitches about heroes, the handsome family photos (pets included), the Purple Hearts, unflattering grainy images, the trivia, the trash and inaccurate numbers so they can base their choices on what's most relevant: issues and character.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today, but by Monday afternoon, 42,535 of Hernando County's voters had cast ballots already through absentee ballots and early voting. Another 60,000 or more could turn out today.

In addition to selecting the next president of the United States, voters will be deciding three County Commission seats, the makeup of Hernando's legislative and congressional delegation, a pair of Brooksville council races, the constitutional offices of sheriff and elections supervisor, a seat on the Hernando School Board, a judicial post and the future of administering fire service in Spring Hill.

The Times editorial board offers the following recommendations:

U.S. House District 5: Ginny Brown-Waite

State Senate District 11: Mike Fasano

State House District 44: Jason Melton (Replaced Joe Puglia)

County Commission, District 1: Jeff Stabins

County Commission, District 3: Diane Rowden

County Commission, District 5: Christopher A. Kingsley

Sheriff: Richard Nugent

Supervisor of elections: Annie D. Williams

School Board member, District 4: James C. Yant

5th Circuit Court judge, Group 3: Denise Lyn

Brooksville Council, Seat 2: David Pugh Jr.

Brooksville Council, Seat 3: Frankie Burnett

Spring Hill Fire and Rescue District (three seats): Robert Giammarco, Amy Brosnan, John Pasquale

Spring Hill Fire Referendum: No.

After all the pitches, voters get the last word 11/03/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 4, 2008 7:32am]
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