The Pinellas Park area needs and deserves an effective state representative _ on that point, the two candidates for the job agree. Jim Frishe, the Republican incumbent, says the district already has one.
But Mary Brennan, the Democratic challenger, says Frishe doesn't measure up.
During a heated primary campaign, Frishe was forced to explain why he was rated dead last in the Miami Herald's annual ranking of effective legislators last year, and why he got low marks again this year. He says the survey is prepared by liberals in Dade County.
Brennan has said Frishe is not respected even in his own party and that he has little to show for his six years in the House. She says Frishe has voted against measures to help the poor and the elderly and that he has accepted too many gifts while in office.
Brennan says her history of community service makes her a good candidate for the job.
She was public information officer for Pinellas Park until the city decided to phase out the job recently. Brennan said she probably will do free-lance public relations or other communications work and will not rely solely on her legislative salary if elected.
She has been active in the Pinellas Park Chamber of Commerce and is a past Pinellas Democratic chairwoman.
Brennan says her experience as a legislative aide under former District 57 Rep. Patricia Bailey helped teach her how to get things accomplished in the Legislature.
Frishe, however, says he has worked hard for the district.
He says he makes an effort to stay in touch with the voters and often sees walk-in constituents in his office.
Frishe says he is concerned with youth. Because of that, he has proposed spending $81-million on the Women, Infant, Children program, which pays for food for infants and children.
He says he helped pass a pilot program that guarantees students in needy families can attend junior colleges or vocational schools if they stay in school and receive passing grades.
As to the charge about being ineffective, Frishe points out that he was chairman of the Pinellas legislative delegation last year, when lawmakers brought back several state-financed projects to Pinellas.
_ CURTIS KRUEGER
District 57 includes an area bounded roughly by Ulmerton Road on the north, Interstate 275 on the east, 40th Avenue N on the south and Starkey Road on the west. House members serve two-year terms and are paid $22,560 a year.
MARY BRENNAN, 36, was public information officer for the city of Pinellas Park until the job was phased out recently. She is a graduate of the University of Florida. She is a former chairwoman of the Pinellas Democratic Executive Committee and has been a legislative aide. She is single. ASSETS: House. LIABILITIES: Mortgage. INCOME: Her campaign disclosure forms, which were filled out before her job was phased out, indicate her city salary as her source of income.
JAMES C. "JIM" FRISHE, 41, has been the state representative for District 57 since 1984. He is a real estate agent and a graduate of the University of Florida. He is married and has two children. ASSETS: House, stock, cash. LIABILITIES: Three loans. INCOME: Legislative salary, real estate commissions.