District 9 A Real Contest

TAMPA -

The power of incumbency is particularly potent in Congress, where the overwhelming majority of lawmakers usually face tepid opposition.

Local Democrats are seeing a crack in that wall: District 9, where first-time incumbent Gus Bilirakis is being eyed by a trio of opportunistic Democrats.

They're William D. 'Bill' Mitchell, a former submarine officer from Tampa, former Plant City Mayor John Dicks and Anita de Palma, a community activist from Clearwater.

District 9 is a long, narrow swath of territory stretching from the Pasco-Hernando county line to eastern Hillsborough. It hugs the coast from Clearwater to Aripeka and includes parts of New Tampa.

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