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She's a "lifelong Democrat" even though she was registered as a Republican for almost eight years until June.

She is "discouraged by the actions of people who don't exercise the right to vote," although her record since 2000 has a few holes.

But those facts leave attorney Patricia Carroll of Wesley Chapel unbowed as she runs to be Pasco County's supervisor of elections.

She wants to replace Republican Brian Corley, who was appointed to the office by Gov. Charlie Crist in January after veteran elections chief Kurt Browning became Florida's secretary of state.

"I don't think it's something that means I can't encourage people to vote. I mean, nobody's perfect," Carroll said Monday.

Her county election record indicates she did not vote in the presidential, initial and runoff primaries in 2000; the March 2004 Penny for Pasco sales tax vote; and the 2006 statewide Republican primary, a governor's race. She did vote in general elections since 2000.

Struggling to pinpoint why she didn't vote, Carroll said she is busy like a lot of people.

"I don't have a recollection about that, except to say that I try to vote in every major election," she said.

Carroll, a council member in Attleboro, Mass., for two years in the mid 1980s, said she was a Democrat until Bill Clinton went to the White House. Disgusted by his lies, she said, she became a Republican prior to receiving her law degree from the University of Florida in 1999.

But earlier this year, she was having lunch with Pasco Democratic Party Chairwoman Alison Morano. She and Morano met working together on the board of the Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce.

Morano said Carroll would be an excellent candidate as someone who is "always the first to make sure everyone's voice is heard, and all sides are looked at."

Morano encouraged the attorney to run for clerk of courts, but Carroll said her calling was the elections office because of her Attleboro days. Morano was encouraged still. But Carroll brought up an obstacle: Shouldn't she change her party affiliation?

She switched June 22, records show. Carroll, who turns 49 on Thursday, said she was going to become a Democrat again regardless of whether she ran for office. Of President Bush's tenure, she said, "I am not of that ilk."

"People are allowed to make mistakes," Morano said.

Carroll, who filed to run last week, said she had no plans yet to change the office because she needs more time to review how it works.

While Corley has not filed papers to run, he said he plans to do it. Budgeting decisions and preparations for the Jan. 29 election have sapped his time. So has the state-mandated change to new paper ballot machines by mid 2008.

But Corley, 37, who has voted in every election since 2000, said it would be inappropriate to comment on Carroll's bid.

He is scheduled to speak to the Wesley Chapel chamber this morning.

Times researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report. David DeCamp can be reached at or (800) 333-7505, ext. 6232.