Bilirakis Runs For Re-election

TAMPA -

Someone named Bilirakis has represented District 9 in Congress since 1982. Mike Bilirakis served the first 22 years. His son Gus has been in Washington the past two. Now, Gus faces his first re-election campaign.

The Tarpon Springs Republican is up against a Democrat and two independent candidates for the district. It stretches from the Pasco-Hernando county line to eastern Hillsborough, including cities as diverse as Clearwater, New Tampa and Plant City.

Bilirakis has staked a position as a middle-of-the road Republican, voting against his party on the Wall Street financial bailout package. He's also come out against oil drilling off Florida's coast, with a hundred-mile buffer.

Tampa Democrat Bill Mitchell came up short in his one previous shot for office, a run for the state House six years ago. The former submarine officer says he regularly hosts dinners for soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. He's for a quick pullout of the troops from Iraq. And he doesn't believe the incumbent votes independently of his party.

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