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"The best qualification for a political job is to have been a businessman. The worst qualification? To be in government all your life."

_ Al Hoffman, CEO, Florida Design Communities, Tampa

"I am Republican. But everything done to curtail the sky-high costs of workers' compensation has been beneficial to business."

_ Jose Valiente, partner and CPA, Valiente Hernandez & Co., Tampa

"I can't tell you how many times I've heard there should be less government and more incentives. Politicians are politicians."

_ Reggie Lewis, owner of

Innervisions Art Gallery, St. Petersburg

"My mother says it's better to leave the party with the person who brought you. I'm not sure what kind of party this state would have under Bush."

_ David Christian, director, Tampa Bay Black Business

Investment Corp.

"I don't see any difference in the candidates. What we see is that people have jobs but are underemployed. Wages have to go up."

_ Diane Trithart, president, Consumer Credit Counseling Service

of the Florida Gulf Coast

"I sense a kind of undercurrent that says maybe we need a complete change. But I do not know if I subscribe to that."

_ Shirley Ryals, senior vice president, SunBank of Tampa Bay

"People are very frustrated with government right now and ready to back any message, however simplistic and unrealistic."

_ Dennis Ross, president and CEO, Jim Walter Corp., Tampa

"Government has got to become more professional and businesslike. The day of the "aw shucks' career politician is over."

_ David Dunbar, executive vice president, Peoples State Bank, New Port Richey

"With Chiles, we know what we are getting. But it's tough getting through the rhetorical din right now."

_ Bill Herrle, state director,

National Federation of Independent

Business, Tallahassee

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