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450 apply to head Revenue Department

There certainly isn't a shortage of applicants for the top job at the Department of Revenue.

More than 450 people applied for the executive director's job by the Wednesday deadline, said Bill Fritchman, head of personnel for the Revenue Department. That's more than twice the number who applied in 1990, the last time the job was open.

"I think it has a lot to do with the economy _ we're getting all kinds," Fritchman said.

With about 2,500 employees, the Revenue Department is a relatively small but powerful agency; it collects billions of dollars in taxes used to fund Florida's government.

The department has gone through constant change at the top since Randy Miller left the executive director's job in 1988. He was followed by Sam Alexander, an interim director; Katie Tucker, a permanent director who left in the midst of a scandal in 1990; Larry Fuchs, another interim director; and Tom Herndon, who left this summer to take over as chief of staff to Gov. Lawton Chiles.

Herndon's assistant executive director, James Zingale, has been acting as interim chief of the department and has applied for the executive director's job.

Other applicants include: Fuchs, who is a deputy comptroller in the Department of Banking and Finance; Larry Durrence, executive director of the Florida Taxation and Budget Reform Commission; and William Tabor, director of the division of parimutuel wagering at the Department of Business Regulation.

A search committee will choose 10 candidates and conduct interviews. The governor and Cabinet are scheduled to appoint the new revenue director Nov. 4.