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FL: Betty Castor Wins Democratic Nomination for Open Senate Seat

Betty Castor captured the democratic nomination yesterday for the seat of retiring US Senator Bob Graham (D) in Florida with 57 percent of the vote. Castor led the race against US Representative Peter Deutsch and Miami-Dade County Mayor Alex Penelas from the beginning, promising affordable healthcare and prescription drugs, the Associated Press reports. With the number of seats held by each political party in the senate so even, and with only eight open seats in the chamber, this race in Florida has the opportunity to shift the balance of power in the senate. Castor is a member of the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame, having been the first woman elected to the Florida Cabinet and the first female president of the University of South Florida. She became involved in politics in the early 1970s, with a local bid to the Hillsborough County Commission. Her opponents in that early campaign attempted to use her role as a mother against her, saying that no one would be around to raise her children if she were elected, NBC6.net reports. Castor’s opponent this November will be Mel Martinez, former US Housing and Urban Development secretary, who was encouraged by the White House to run. President Bush called him personally to congratulate him on winning the Republican primary, according to the Associated Press. Martinez defeated US Representative Bill McCollum after his campaign tried to tie McCollum to “extremist gays” because he had supported a hate-crime bill that would have protected gays as well as other groups. LEARN MORE about the Feminist Majority Foundation’s Get Out Her Vote campaign DONATE to the Feminist Majority Foundation’s Get Out Her Vote campaign

Sources:

Associated Press 9/1/04; NBC6.net 8/31/04

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