McBride to face Bush in election

When it was over, Tampa lawyer Bill McBride rose victorious from the ashes of what is being called another Florida voting mishap.McBride, in his first quest for a seat in public office, held on to a nearly 5,000 vote lead over challenger Janet Reno, according to polls by The Associated Press . Reno had been projected for months as the obvious democratic candidate to face the incumbent Gov. Jeb Bush in the November election. McBride campaign followers spent Tuesday watching television.”We’re watching on television for a statement from Janet Reno,” said McBride campaign spokesman Tony Welch.Campaign officials said McBride started back on the campaign trail late last week, feeling he would be determined the winner.Reno campaign aides were unable to be reached for comment. However, the former attorney general, said last week if McBride did win she would show her support.Problems with the elections began to surface as early as Tuesday morning. Polls in Miami-Dade and Broward County – Reno strongholds – opened late due to miscommunication about opening times and machines that were not warmed up and ready when polls opened across the state. Many voters had a hard time finding out where they were to vote because of new precinct boundaries.The whole election fiasco was similar to the 2000 presidential election, where George W. Bush was eventually named winner of the state’s 25 Electoral College votes.A move to have the state’s votes recounted by Reno was halted by Florida’s election board because McBride carried a lead of more than half the percentage point of total votes, which is the number decided on to say a race can be questioned.The official numbers from the 67 Florida counties were supposed to be announced after press time. The numbers were certified Wednesday. In the next few weeks, McBride will visit several spots in the state in his quest to unseat Bush, who has lost large amounts of support in the black community because of the One Florida Initiative and backing off on state affirmative action laws. His first trip began Thursday “to introduce our Lt. Governor,” Welch said.