The race for the state Senate District 12 seat is between two Lakeland lawyers. One, Republican Charles Canady, hopes his experience as a state representative the past six years will help him secure another four years in Tallahassee as a state senator.
The other, Democrat Quillian Yancey, also is betting on Canady's three terms in the House. But Yancey is betting that Canady's incumbency will lead to his downfall.
Yancey, hoping the wave of anti-incumbency during the September primary will extend to the election Tuesday, has campaigned for reform in the state Senate.
Yancey, a 68-year-old retired state attorney, says that if elected, he will push for legislation outlining conduct for public officials; work to remedy _ or at least limit _ budget shortfalls; and help cure the state's transportation problems.
But Yancey is no stranger to the Legislature himself. From 1966 to 1972, he was the state representative for Polk and Sumter counties. That and his eight-year stint as a state attorney in the 10th Judicial Circuit have made him widely known in Polk and other District 12 counties. Since retiring in 1985, he has operated his ranch in Lakeland.
At age 36, Canady is much younger than Yancey _ and makes no bones about it.
He says that, if elected, he will continue the work he began as a state representative to lead Florida "into tomorrow and the 21st century."
Canady boasts that during his three terms in the state House, he helped position Florida for the future as a member of the committee that helped produce the state's Growth Management Act.
If elected to the state Senate, Canady says, he will urge reform of the state's education system _ what he calls "a key to a prosperous future" _ and push to increase preservation of the state's environmentally sensitive wetlands and other natural resources.
Yancey has the edge in numbers in District 12, where Democrats outnumber Republicans 3-1 in Polk County and by wide margins in every other county.
But Canady is a former Democrat, and he hopes that will neutralize the Democratic advantage.
The winner of the District 12 race will fill the seat left vacant by the retirement of Sen. Curtis Peterson, D-Lakeland.
_ ROBERT KEEFE
Senate District 12 includes portions of Hernando, Pasco, Osceola and Polk counties. Senators serve four-year terms and are paid $22,560 a year.
QUILLIAN S. YANCEY, 68, is a Lakeland rancher and former state representative. He earned a bachelor's degree from Florida Southern College and a law degree from George Washington University. He had a private law practice in Lakeland before becoming state attorney for the 10th Judicial Circuit from 1977 to 1985. He was the state representative for Polk and Sumter counties from 1966 to 1972 and was an FBI agent four years. He is married and has three children and two grandchildren. ASSETS: House, stock, retirement account. LIABILITIES: None. INCOME: State retirement pay, Social Security, stock earnings.
CHARLES T. CANADY, 36, is a Lakeland lawyer and three-term state representative. He earned a bachelor's degree from Haverford College and a law degree from Yale University. During his six years in the state House, Canady served on the criminal justice, environmental regulation, higher education and judiciary committees. ASSETS: Condominium, stock in a law firm. LIABILITIES: Personal loans. INCOME: Representative's salary, legal fees.