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U.S. HOUSE: DISTRICT 9

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A Tampa lawyer, a business owner from New Port Richey and a retired police officer from Tarpon Springs are trying to unseat one-term incumbent Gus Bilirakis. Bilirakis has name recognition on his side Ñ heês a former state representative whose father, Mike, served the 9th Congressional District for 24 years, retiring in 2006. But Bilirakisê opponents, and Democratic Party strategists, have said that may work against the freshman congressman in a year when voters are frustrated with the status quo on Capitol Hill.

Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor, 45 William D. "Bill" Mitchell, D-Tampa, 61 Richard O. Emmons, Term Limits for the United States Congress Party, 57 John "Johnny K" Kalimnios, No party, 42
Experience Bilirakis is finishing his first term in Congress. Prior to that, he served as a state representative for District 48 from 1998 to 2006. Bilirakis was a probate and estate planning lawyer from 1990 to 2005. He serves on the House committees on Foreign Affairs, Homeland Security and Veteransê Affairs. Mitchell is the founder and president of Mitchell Law Group. As an attorney for the Federal Trade Commission in the 1970s, he led an investigation into the offshore leasing practices of "big oil." As a lawyer, he has specialized in employment and health plan benefit cases. He is a former Naval submarine force officer and Vietnam War-era veteran. For 30 years, Emmons has owned Magazine Subscription Service Agency in New Port Richey, which specializes in handling library periodicals. He is chairman of the East Elfers Cemetery Committee for Asbury United Methodist Church. Kalimnios spent six years as a detention deputy for the Pinellas County Sheriffês Office, then 11 years as an officer and detective with the Tarpon Springs Police Department, retiring in 2005. He is co-owner, with his wife, of two retail businesses at the Sponge Docks in Tarpon Springs.
Education Bachelorês degree in political science from University of Florida; law degree from Stetson University College of Law. Bachelorês degree in economics, University of Washington; masterês degree in tax law, Georgetown University; masterês degree in economics and law degree, University of California, Berkeley. Bachelorês degree in marketing, Northern Illinois University. Dual law enforcement certification from St. Petersburg Junior College.
On the issues He opposed two versions of the federal economic bailout bill, saying they unfairly burdened taxpayers and lacked proper oversight. He supports offshore drilling in Florida, with a 100-mile buffer. He is a strong proponent of community health centers as a measure to provide affordable health care and supports a national sales tax to replace income and other taxes. He opposes privatization of Social Security. He supports a national catastrophic insurance fund, a family care tax credit for people caring for elderly or disabled relatives and a system to provide legal help to soldiers. He is a proponent of a timely withdrawal of troops in Iraq. He wants to see health insurance loopholes closed and supports importing prescription drugs from Canada. He opposes offshore drilling and proposals to privatize Social Security. Supports Roe vs. Wade. He wants to see 12-year term limits for representatives and nationwide referendums on national issues. He supports offshore drilling and development of other domestic energy sources to decrease dependence on foreign nations. He is in favor of privatizing Social Security, as well as mandating all federal employees to contribute to the program. He opposes universal health care and Roe vs. Wade. He supports a timetable for pulling troops out of Iraq, but not until the country can provide its own security. He is in favor of diplomatic measures to combat terrorism. He supports tax credits for businesses that donêt outsource labor and alternative fuel sources to reduce Americansê dependence on foreign oil. He opposes universal health care, privatization of Social Security and Roe vs. Wade.
Why he believes he is the best candidate for the job Bilirakis said he believes his work ethic, determination and ability to garner support from members of both major parties have helped him accomplish things in Washington, like the recent House passage of the Silver Alert bill he sponsored and two consecutive bills he contributed to that raise the pay of active military. Mitchell said heês got the experience to "crack down on oil company collusion" to lower gas prices, promote policies to turn the economy around, redeploy American troops out of Iraq and take on health insurance companies that refuse to pay claims and companies that refuse to pay pension benefits. Emmons said his independence from either party would be an asset to voters, who feel their voices arenêt heard. "I have no political ties. I am not subjected to the political bosses of the two major parties in congress," he said. Kalimnios says he is "not a politician, nor a lawyer," just "a middle class person hurting as much as anyone else." He said he would be accessible to constituents, willing to seek out answers to tough issues and bring a heavy dose of "common sense" to Washington.
Assets Stocks, IRAs, real estate, prepaid tuition accounts. 401K, IRAês and other investment accounts. Stocks and IRAs. Checking and savings accounts.
Liabilities Mortgage on home in Palm Harbor and law practice building in Holiday. Student loan. Two mortgages, home equity loan, business loan, vehicle loan. Mortgage and a vehicle loan.
Net worth Between $134,000 and $635,000, plus a Palm Harbor home with a market value of $431,000, according to his financial disclosure and property records. Between $785,500 and $2,158,500, plus a Tampa home with a market value of $226,800, according to his financial disclosure and property records. Between $736,000 and $2,051,000, plus a New Port Richey home with a market value of $109,800; Orlando home, $196,217, according to his financial disclosure and property records. $76,400, plus a home in Holiday with a market value of $155,306.
Income House of Representatives salary, rent from law office. Salary from Mitchell Law Group. Salary from Magazine Subscription Service Agency. Wifeês salary.
Personal Wife, Eva; four sons. Wife, Mary; three sons. Divorced, one son. Wife, Christina; two sons.
Web site www.gus08.com billmitchellforcongress.com www.termlimitsforcongress.com www.johnnyk4congress.com
E-mail nick@gusbilirakis.com votebillmitchell@tampabay.rr.com remmons@termlimitsforcongress.com johnnyk@johnnyk4congress.com
About the job: U.S. representatives serve two-year terms and are paid $169,300 annually. U.S. House District 9 is spread across North Pinellas, west Pasco and suburban northern and eastern Hillsborough.

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