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Strawberry market draws produce lovers and would-be presidents

Img00035PLANT CITY -- Apparently Naked Politics picked the wrong time of year to visit Parkesdale Groves. As you can see from the sign to the left, it's not shortcake season yet.

But the strawberry shakes are delicious, and many shoppers said the low prices for fresh fruit and vegetables can't be beat.

Democrat Barack Obama campaigned here. So did President Bush, and his brother, former Gov. Jeb Bush.

"Everyone is concerned about the I-4 corridor,'' said owner Jim Meeks, who passed on a copy of the local paper's story on Obama's visit. "They've all been here. It's kind of like they come to get a feel for the people."

This small town is on the eastern edge of Hillsborough County, which has been picking presidents for years. Why? Because the county is like a microcosm of Florida: rural here, urban back in Tampa, retirement communities, and of course, suburban sprawl.