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HOW MANY OATHS? Linda Long of Sarasota County won a Republican committeewoman's seat this year as a first-time candidate. THE FLORIDA REPUBLICAN PARTY SAYS A NEWLY ELECTED SARASOTA COUNTY COMMITTEEWOMAN CANNOT TAKE OFFICE BECAUSE SHE FAILED TO FILE A STATE LOYALTY OATH By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor This year for the first time, Sarasota County resident Linda Long decided to run for elec- tive office. "People had been encouraging me to do so for a long time," she told The Sarasota News Leader this week. "I felt this was the right time and the right position." The "right position" was Republican state committeewoman, a liaison role between lo- cal party members and state party officials. Long won resoundingly in the August primary, taking almost 41 percent of the vote. However, because of a dispute with the Re- publican Party of Florida, it appears the sec- ond-place finisher in the race, Kathleen "Ca- sey" Pilon — wife of state Rep. Ray Pilon — will be taking the oath of office on Dec. 1 instead of Long. On Oct. 6, during the quarterly meeting of the RPOF in Orlando, Long says she and oth- er committee people who won their races learned that because they did not file the offi- cial state party loyalty oath in a timely fashion, they were being disqualified as office-holders.

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