Whether it's leading a team of 11- and 12-year-olds to a state baseball championship or campaigning for the job of county tax collector, Keith Sumner has made one thing quite clear.
"I don't like to lose," he has said.
The east Pasco Republican defeated his opponent, Anne Dwyer Pargament, in the primary Tuesday. Sumner will face longtime Democratic incumbent Mike Olson in the Nov. 5 general election.
"I'm still a little nervous," Sumner said about 9 p.m. Tuesday. "There's still 17 precincts to go."
Pargament, however, conceded the race right away.
"Oh, yeah. I lost," she said, speaking from a friend's house while watching returns come in on a local public access cable channel. "I worked hard. I'm disappointed, but Keith has my full support. We both ran clean races, and I wish him the best."
"I feel very grateful to the people that helped me," Sumner said from the Dade City business where he watched vote returns from a computer hookup with the county elections office. "It was a good, clean race. I respect Anne for running a good, clean campaign.
"I'm going to take a couple of days off and regroup and start another campaign," he said. "Whatever I have to do to get elected tax collector, that's what I want to do."
Sumner, 42, is an east Pasco native who lives in San Antonio, near Dade City. He and his wife, Sharon, have two children, Annie, 17, and Cas, 16, who was a member of Dade City's 1992 state championship Little League baseball team, which Sumner coached.
Both candidates had touted their business backgrounds and management skills in their campaigns: Sumner is a real estate broker and accounting consultant; Pargament used to run a company managing money for disability beneficiaries.
Pasco's tax collector is responsible for taking in money from property taxes, occupational licenses and vehicle registrations, among other sources. The position is a four-year term and carries an annual salary of $88,742.