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LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS CANDIDATES' Q&A

Editor's Note: The St. Petersburg League of Women's Voters asked local political candidates to respond to a series of questions regarding their campaigns. All candidates were given an opportunity to respond. The Times is printing their answers as a public service.

Cheryl Davis Knapp

Q What experience and qualifications make you the candidate best suited for this office?

A As a nursing manager, I have developed balanced budgets and made lifesaving decisions. As a nurse, I have been responsible for listening to and representing people all of my adult life.

Q The League of Women Voters position is in support of the right of privacy in reproductive choice and access to voluntary family planning. Do you agree? If not, state your position.

A Yes. I have always believed the decision to become a parent is a very private and personal choice. I believe American women are capable of making the right decision for themselves without interference from the government. I support family planning programs and believe we must pass the Freedom of Choice Act.

Q What is your approach as to how to meet the health care needs of all Americans?

A We must have a universal health care plan that covers all Americans with the option to purchase private insurance. I support restructuring our health-care system to focus on consumers and health, with services to be delivered in familiar, convenient sites, such as homes, workplaces and schools. A plan that allows people to choose their health care providers. This legislation must also include provisions for long-term care to prevent personal impoverishment.

Q What percentage, or by what amount, should the U.S. defense budget be cut?

A National security experts say the post-Cold War military budget can be cut by nearly half a trillion dollars over the next decade without putting our nation in any danger. Yet, the United States continues to spend more money preparing for war in Europe than all of America's European allies combined! This money must go to investment in the United States.

Cheryl Davis Knapp, Democrat, is a nurse from Safety Harbor.

Republican candidate U.S. Rep. Michael Bilirakis did not respond.

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