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CANDIDATE RESPONSES

The Times offers candidates not recommended by its editorial board an opportunity to respond. Here are some of the responses to the recommendations for the races in the Nov. 4 general election.

Bill Mitchell Democratic candidate for U.S. House District 9

Your readers have a right to know where Gus Bilirakis really stands on the issues. Bilirakis supports a 23 percent sales tax on everything from gas and food to homes and cars. When he had a chance to crack down on unethical mortgage brokers and reform the mortgage industry, he didn't. And while he takes tens of thousands of dollars from Big Oil and gives them millions in tax breaks, the rest of us feel the pain at the pump. In these tough economic times, that's not the leadership we need in Washington.

What we need now isn't a career politician but someone with new ideas to get our economy back on track, hold Big Oil accountable, and provide middle-class tax relief so our working families can do better than just get by.

It was my opposition to the failed policies in Iraq that led me to run for Congress. Our troops deserve mandatory rest periods, but my opponent doesn't think so.

My entire life I've fought against the status quo. I volunteered to serve in the U.S. Navy. I took on Big Oil collusion at the Federal Trade Commission. And I've fought big health insurance companies that refused to pay patients' claims.

The choice in this election is clear, change or more of the same.

Bob Hackworth Democratic candidate for U.S. House District 10

I agree these are "uncertain times at home and abroad," as the Times so crucially noted. That my opponent "lacks a sense of urgency in dealing with the (economic) crisis" is telling. So too is the observation that "time and tenure are having an effect."

Now is not a time for hesitation or indecision, but a time to lead. That is the compelling argument for my candidacy.

Left unsaid in the Times' recommendation is that Bill Young votes close to 90 percent of the time with George Bush. If re-elected, he will continue to oppose efforts to help the middle class during this economic crisis, oppose measures to insure the 47-million Americans without health care coverage and oppose an end to the war in Iraq. Voters also deserve to know of Young's recent votes against legislation banning torture.

If you agree this nation needs a change in direction, please give my opponent your appreciation for his 38 long years of service but give your vote to Bob Hackworth on Nov. 4.

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