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Date of Issue: November 10, 2006

Election 2006 surprises, flip-flops

On the state and national fronts, the unofficial statewide results from Tuesday's election include:

For U.S. Senate, incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson defeated Republican challenger and current Congresswoman Katherine Harris 60 percent to 38 percent. Other candidates in the hotly contested race were Floyd Ray Frazier with .4 percent, Belinda Noah with 1 percent, Brian Moore with .4 percent, and Roy Tanner with .3 percent.

In a congressional representative election that drew national media attention, Republican Vern Buchanan and Democrat Christine Jennings were neck and neck by late Tuesday night, each with 50 percent of the vote and only about 400 votes separating them - to tight to call even on Wednesday morning.

For governor, Republican Charlie Crist defeated Democratic challenger Jim Davis, 53 percent to 47 percent. Other tallies in the governor's race include Reform Party candidate Max Linn with 2 percent, and independent candidates Richard Paul Dembinsky with .2 percent, John Wayne Smith with .3 percent, and Karl C.C. Behm with .2 percent.

For Florida attorney general, Republican Bill McCollum defeated Democrat Walter “Skip” Campbell, 52 percent to 48 percent.

For the state's chief financial officer position, Democrat Alex Sink defeated Republican Tom Lee 56 percent to 43 percent.

Incumbent Republican Agricultural Commissioner Charles Bronson easily defeated Democratic challenger Eric Copeland, 56 percent to 43 percent.

On the non-partisan portion of the ballot, all of the Supreme Court justices were retained in office: R. Fred Lewis, Barbara Joan Pariente and Peggy A. Quince.

District Court of Appeal judges were also retained: Darryl C. Casanueva, Charles A. Davis Jr., Edward C. LaRose, E.J. Salcines and Tomas E. Striger Sr.

Locally, Rochelle Taylor Curley defeated Preston DeVilbiss Jr. for judgeship, 12th Circuit, Group 21, 55 percent to 45 percent.

The new Manatee County School Board District 4 member is Bob Gause, defeating Joe Miller 53 percent to 47 percent.

Voters had six constitutional amendments to decide upon as well. All were approved. The unofficial statewide results were:

Amendment 1: state planning and budget process - yes, 60 percent; no, 40 percent.

Amendment 3: create broader public support for Constitutional amendments or revisions - yes, 58 percent; no, 42 percent.

Amendment 4: protection of people against health hazards caused by using tobacco - yes, 61 percent; no, 39 percent.

Amendment 6: increased homestead exemption - yes, 76 percent; no, 24 percent.

Amendment 7: discount on property tax for permanently disabled veterans - yes, 78 percent; no, 22 percent.

Amendment 8: eminent domain - yes, 70 percent; no, 31 percent.

Almost 51 percent of Manatee County voters turned out to cast ballots Tuesday.