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They can vote apart but stay together

Despite rumors to the contrary, Pinellas Democratic Chairwoman Janice Jochum said she supports Democratic presidential nominee Bill Clinton.

A bumper sticker probably started the rumor that she supports Ross Perot.

"My husband's van has a Perot sign on it, and the last time I checked, it's a free country," she said.

When it comes to politics, she doesn't tell her husband what to do, and he doesn't tell her what to do, she said.

She said she "absolutely, positively" supports Clinton. "I have been a Democrat since the first time I registered."

The poll is in

You know that politicians hire pricey companies to do fancy polls. Well, here's a different kind.

Bill Cichanski, 72, of Clearwater walks along Fort Harrison Avenue every morning. He wears his Ross Perot T-shirt and his Ross Perot baseball cap and waves at the passing cars.

Last Wednesday _ the day after Perot's televised speech _ he noticed a difference. "The response increased by 10 to 20 percent."

Cichanski said the extra thumbs-up signs and friendly honks from drivers show his candidate is gaining support.

Endorsements

Here's a rule of politics:

In the primary election, do everything you can to explain why no one in their right mind would vote for that idiot, your opponent.

In the general election, ask that respected leader, that shining light of the community _ your ex-opponent _ to endorse you.

Endorsements keep rolling in.

Jeff Huenink, who left his state representative seat to run for the state Senate, has endorsed the man who beat him for the Republican nomination, Charlie Crist. Crist hopes to unseat Sen. Helen Gordon Davis, D-Tampa, in a district that includes portions of Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.

Joe Mangus, who lost to County Commission candidate Steve Seibert in a Republican runoff election, supports Seibert. Seibert now faces Democrat Gabe Cazares in the Nov. 3 general election.

A salute

Jeanne Malchon, the Democratic state senator from St. Petersburg, announced her retirement from the Senate after her district was chopped up during the reapportionment process.

Last week, she was saluted for her service. The Greater Pinellas Democratic Club held a dinner in her honor.

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