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STATE SENATE DISTRICT 20

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.

Charlie Crist

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

A Charlie Crist was raised in St. Petersburg, and he works in both St. Petersburg and Tampa _ both sides of District 20. He was U.S. Sen. Connie Mack's state director and is the chairman of Mack's Baseball Antitrust Advisory Team. He has been involved in many civic and professional groups, including: Operation PAR, the Police Athletic League, the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce, the administrative board of the First United Methodist Church and Rotary.

Q Do you support the Growth Management Act, including protection of its concurrency requirement? If not, how would you change it?

A Crist supports the Growth Management Act in principle, but thinks its implementation should be streamlined more than it currently is. He thinks burdensome permit procedures should be eliminated to improve the efficiency of the government.

Q In view of the shrinking revenue base, how would you fund necessary services and infrastructure needs?

A Crist knows there is a tremendous amount of waste in government and will push to eliminate that waste to create a more efficient government. This way, the government can free up funds for necessary services and infrastructure.

Q With the growing health crisis and many citizens without health insurance, how would you propose adequately financing and delivering health care to Floridians?

A To reduce the cost of health care in America, Crist supports establishing a health services commission, whose specific task would be to implement cost-cutting procedures.

Charlie Crist, Republican from St. Petersburg, is a lawyer.

Helen Gordon Davis

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

A President, League of Women Voters; 14 years in Florida House, eight of which I chaired ad hoc committee for children; four years in Senate, chair of Senate Appropriations Committee, Human Services.

I authored legislation permitting counties to place an additional half-cent sales tax for the establishment of countywide health clinics for the indigent _ either by referendum or majority plus one vote of the County Commission. This has been implemented in four counties.

Q Do you support the Growth Management Act including protection of its concurrency requirement? If not, how would you change it?

A Yes.

Q In view of the shrinking revenue base, how would you fund necessary services and infrastructure needs?

A Tax reform _ repealing many sales tax exemptions.

Q With the growing health crisis and many citizens without health insurance, how would you propose adequately financing and delivering health care to Floridians?

A Inclusion of small businesses in state insurance plans, which would substantially reduce their rates and make health insurance available to their employees at a fraction of the current cost.

Helen Gordon Davis, Democrat from Tampa, has been a state senator since 1988.

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