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County Commissioners? News Leader report- ers who have covered the County Commission in recent years do not recall any mention of the topic at a board meeting. When asked if the mailing is a response to any particular board action or commissioner statements, Maio tells the News Leader the answer is no. There are "no issues involved," he says. "My only comment on that is that it's my personal choice. That's all." Maio adds that the mailing is only the first in a series of pieces devoted to various beliefs. Maio's opponent, Ramirez, tells the News Leader she's putting her effort elsewhere. "I'm focused on what's happening in our back- yards," she says. "I don't want to get involved in things that we can't do anything about." She doesn't want to distract herself "from the core local issues." The mailing could inspire Republicans opposed to abortion to support Maio's cam- paign, but it also risks alienating women. A national Gallup poll released in May found the country almost evenly split on the issue of abortion rights, but the poll identified a major gender divide: 50 percent of women iden- tified as "pro-choice" while only 41 percent described themselves as "pro-life," almost the exact opposite of men. And according to the U.S. Census Bureau, women make up more than 52 percent of the population in Sarasota County, more than a point higher than the state average. The Maio flyers are hitting mailboxes as county voters who have requested absentee ballots are beginning to receive them and fill them out. Early voting begins on Aug. 16. % This shows the back of the mailer. The News Leader has obscured the address label to protect the privacy of the recipient. Contributed image Sarasota News Leader August 1, 2014 Page 9

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