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8998: Janet Reno addresses Haitian-American group (fwd)

From: leonie hermantin <lhermantin@hotmail.com>

Saturday, September 1, 2001

Story last updated at 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 1, 2001
Janet Reno addresses Haitian-American group

Associated Press Writer

NORTH MIAMI, Fla. - Janet Reno saluted the progress of Haitian-Americans in 
this Democratic stronghold on Saturday but remained noncommittal about a 
possible run for governor.

Reno did not say whether she plans to seek the nomination for governor and a 
possible match up with Republican Gov. Jeb Bush. Instead, she watched 
children perform the traditional Haitian folk dance and cited 
Haitian-Americans for overcoming tyranny in their homeland and contributing 
to local politics.

"You have done so much. You have set an example for participating in a 
democracy," Reno said.

Haitian-Americans recently captured the mayor's office and the majority on 
the city council in this community of 60,000 residents. North Miami is 
considered the nation's largest community led by Haitian-Americans.

Twice during her 15 minute speech, the crowd urged Reno to enter the race, 
breaking into the chants of "Run Janet Run." An orange sign with the same 
slogan adorned the podium where Reno spoke.

"Should she decide in the next few days to run for governor, we're here to 
tell her we will back her 100 percent," said Ossman Desir, a North Miami 
city councilman.

The former attorney general is expected to announce her plans next week 
after a summer of traveling across Florida to listen to voters. Polls show 
Reno leading other Democratic challengers in the race.

The Miami Herald, citing anonymous sources, reported that Reno would 
announce on Tuesday that she is opening a campaign account. That would allow 
her to begin raising money and hiring staff.

When asked about that scenario, Reno said: "We'll see."

Reno has said she would only open a campaign account if she plans to seek 
the nomination.

The Miami native would immediately infuse vast name recognition and a 
national reputation to a race expected to draw heavy attention following the 
disputed 2000 presidential election.

Avoiding the speculation, Reno urged greater support for public schools, 
worker retraining and more harmony between racial groups. She has questioned 
Jeb Bush's use of standardized testing to bring more accountability to 

"We must make sure that all of the schools of this county are excellent. And 
that means not just focusing on FCAT tests, but teaching our students what 
they need to learn to be competitive in this world," Reno said.

A poll taken in July showed Reno with a commanding lead over other 
Democrats, but trailing the Jeb Bush, the president's brother, 54 percent to 
39 percent, according to Mason-Dixon Polling & Research. The margin of error 
was plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Other Democrats who have filed to run include former ambassador to Vietnam 
Pete Peterson, House Minority Leader Lois Frankel, State Sen. Daryl Jones, 
lawyer Bill McBride and U.S. Rep. Jim Davis.

Copyright 2001 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not 
be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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