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Gallagher wasn't first Dade Republican

Tom Gallagher's Spanish-language television ad, running in Miami since this weekend, takes a bit of license with history. It says Gallagher, who was first elected to the state House of Representatives in 1974 in a special election, was "the first Republican representative from Miami.''

Actually, the honor of being first Republican state legislator from Miami since Reconstruction goes to John Cyril Malloy, a trademark and patent lawyer who was elected in 1972 and served one term in House District 113 as a Republican. He was elected in 1976 in District 118 and switched parties, to become a Democrat. That same year, he was appointed by Republican President Gerald Ford to be a member of the National Highway Safety Committee.

Gallagher's campaign holds by its description.

"We strongly feel that Tom was the first Republican in Miami elected on a Republican platform,'' said Gallagher spokesman Alberto Martinez. "He served the delegation for nearly 10 years as the only Republican."

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