|By Josh Boatwright, Tampa Tribune, Fla.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Among the Democratic candidates, union president and longtime city of
While all three say concrete issues facing their constituents such as school funding and transportation will drive their decisions rather than party politics, they hope to tip the scales in November by motivating left-leaning residents to get out the vote.
"Every apartment complex, every 55-and-over community, I have to visit between now and November, to talk to them, to show them my face, to talk to them about my life story," said Sarnoff.
Education would be Sarnoff's top priority in
An employee of
That role brought him to
"How can you do a collective bargaining agreement if you don't know what the other side knows?" he said.
Vercher hopes to win the primary and the November election through strong political organization.
She has 70 people working on her election campaign and has out-raised her opponents with
"None of us can do anything unless we make it to
Her career has landed her in roles as a technology consultant for former Gov.
She gained national attention in a legal spat with a former NBA referee who claimed he wasn't paid by her company after publishing his memoir. The
"We have to get a system that is accessible to people even if they don't have that type of funding," she said.
It's Ryan's story of growing up in a low-income home and working his way up in the business world that he says makes him the right voice for underrepresented people in
Ryan works at Dairy Mix in
When politicians talk of shrinking
"It seemed like poverty was overpowering, but in climbing out of it, I think it's really made me a lot stronger and a lot more attuned to the needs of the people," he said.
This is Ryan's first foray into the political world and he says maintaining strong funding for schools and stabilizing insurance rates are among his top campaign issues.
While votes in the general election could be split closely between the two parties, Ryan doesn't shy away from the label of "liberal" when talking to residents in the district.
"I'm a strong liberal voice and I think more of that is needed," he said.
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