Elizabeth Riegler MacManus was born in Lutz, Florida on July 18, 1923. MacManus dedicated her life to preserving the history of the Lutz and Land O' Lakes areas. MacManus' father, Mike Reigler was the first permanent resident of the area and became the first person in the area to grow a nursery of citrus. MacManus wrote various works on the history of the area, including Citrus, Sawmills, Critters and Crackers: Life in Early Lutz and Central Pasco County that she co-authored with her daughter Susan MacManus. Considered the definitive history of the area, Citrus, Sawmills, Critters and Crackers preserves many of the oral histories and photographs of the Lutz area that would have otherwise been lost. MacManus taught Sunday school for over 40 years in Lutz and never grew tired of searching for new historical artifacts. She passed away on June 21, 2008 at the age of 84.
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Dr. Susan A. MacManus, who received her M.A. from the University of Michigan and Ph.D. from Florida State University, is the Distinguished University Professor Emerita (political science) in the Department of Government and International Affairs, School of Interglobal Studies, University of South Florida. For many years she served as political analyst for WFLA-TV (Tampa NBC affiliate). Since 2016, she has been the political analyst for WFTS-TV—ABC Action News (Tampa ABC affiliate).
MacManus is author of Florida’s Minority Trailblazers: The Men and Women Who Changed the Face of Florida Government (University Press of Florida, 2017), Young v. Old: Generational Combat in the 21st Century? (Westview, 1996) and Targeting Senior Voters (Rowman & Littlefield, 2004). She is the co-author of Florida's Politics, 5th ed., with Aubrey Jewett, David J. Bonanza, and Thomas R. Dye (FSU John Scott Dailey Florida Institute of Government, 2019), The South and the Transformation of U.S. Politics with Charles S. Bullock III, Jeremy D. Mayer, and Mark J. Rozell (Oxford University Press, 2019), Politics in States and Communities, 15th ed., with Thomas R. Dye (Prentice Hall 2015), and Florida's Politics: Ten Media Markets, One Powerful State with Kevin Hill and Dario Moreno (Florida Institute of Government, 2004). MacManus and her mother, Elizabeth, are the authors of two local Florida history books published by the University of Tampa Press: Citrus, Sawmills, Critters & Crackers (1998) and Going, Going, Almost Gone: Lutz-Land O' Lakes Pioneers Share Their Precious Memories (2011). MacManus is from a citrus-growing family in Pasco County.
She served as Chair of the Florida Elections Commission from 1999 to 2003 and helped the Collins Center For Public Policy, Inc. draft Florida’s Help America Vote Act state plan (voter, election official, and poll worker education section) required by Congress to qualify for federal funding under the Help America Vote Act. She also served as an advisor to the Florida Division of Elections on the development of its statewide poll worker training manual. In 2008, MacManus was appointed by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to two working groups: the Election Management Guidelines Development Working Group on Elderly and Disabled Voters in Long-Term Care Facilities and the Working Group on Media and Public Relations.
MacManus was a Fulbright Research Scholar at Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea, in 1989, received USF’s Distinguished Research Scholar Award in 1991, and was honored as the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society’s USF Artist/Scholar in 1997 and designated as a Distinguished University Professor in 1999. She received the first biennial Diane Blair award for “Outstanding Achievement in Politics and Government” from the Southern Political Science Association in 2001. In March 2002, the Florida Political Science Association gave her its Manning Dauer Distinguished Florida Political Science Award. She has been a Reubin O’D. Askew Fellow of the Florida Institute of Government since 1995.