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DECISION 2000 / AMERICA WAITS

Who's Who in the Florida Election Battle

November 12, 2000

JEB BUSH: Florida governor and younger brother of Republican presidential nominee George W. Bush. Republican Jeb Bush is his brother's Florida campaign manager. He withdrew from the state Elections Canvassing Commission, the panel that will ultimately certify Florida's election results, to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest. He is a former real estate developer.

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BILL DALEY: Al Gore's campaign chairman, who is in Florida giving most of the news conferences on Gore's behalf. The banker and lawyer was Commerce secretary under President Clinton. He is the brother of Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and son of the late Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley.

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WARREN CHRISTOPHER: Former secretary of state during President Clinton's first term, he was sent to Florida to monitor the ballot recount for Al Gore's campaign.

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JAMES A. BAKER III: Former secretary of state under President Bush and former White House chief of staff and Treasury secretary under President Reagan. Sent to Florida to monitor the ballot recount for George W. Bush's campaign.

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THERESA LEPORE: Election supervisor for Palm Beach County and designer of the "butterfly" ballot that voters said was so confusing that they voted for the wrong candidate. An elected Democrat, she had a spotless record until this week and was described even by one of the voters suing her as a "wonderful, gracious, honest woman."

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KATHERINE HARRIS: Florida's secretary of state, an elected Republican whose department oversees the state Division of Elections, as well as state archives and corporate charters. One of three members of the canvassing board that will ultimately certify statewide election results.

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CLAY ROBERTS: Director of the state Division of Elections, he is a registered Republican appointed by Harris and is a member of the statewide canvassing board.

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BOB CRAWFORD: Florida agriculture commissioner, an elected Democrat who endorsed George W. Bush for president. Harris chose him to replace Gov. Jeb Bush on the statewide canvassing board.

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KENDALL COFFEY: Member of Gore legal team, he helped Miami Mayor Joe Carollo win an election fraud lawsuit that overturned Miami's 1997 mayoral election. Coffey also represented Cuban castaway Elian Gonzalez's Miami relatives. A former U.S. attorney in Miami, he resigned that post in 1996 after a topless dancer accused him of biting her.

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DONALD M. MIDDLEBROOKS: U.S. district judge in Miami, who will hear Monday the Bush campaign's petition to stop the hand recounts in four Florida counties. Middlebrooks was appointed by President Clinton in 1997. As a practicing attorney, he specialized in corporate law and civil litigation. Former partners describe him as a Democrat with an independent streak.

Sources: Reuters; Times staff

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