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Thursday, Nov 27, 2014
Pasco Tribune

Numerous Pasco political races decided as candidates unopposed

By ,
Published:   |   Updated: June 22, 2014 at 02:24 PM

Pasco County School Board members Allen Altman and Cynthia Armstrong have each won another four-year term after no one emerged to run against them by the noon Friday deadline for qualifying for this year's election.

Board member Steve Luikart, though, drew opposition in the nonpartisan race from Marc Yacht, former director of the Pasco County Health Department.

The lineups for numerous other political races also were decided Friday.

Republican Executive Committee member Grady Peeler's attempt to close the District 4 county commission race backfired. About 30 minutes before deadline, Peeler filed as a write-in candidate in the race between incumbent Commissioner Henry Wilson Jr. and Mike Wells Jr., the son of the current property appraiser. With no Democrats in the field, Peeler's move could have closed the primary to Republican voters.

He used the same strategy four years ago to close the primary for the state House race between Richard Corcoran and Kathryn Starkey.

But Elections Supervisor Brian Corley remembered that Peeler lives in Trinity, which is in District 3.

“I explained to him that the residency requirement for write-in candidates is different,” Corley said. “They have to live in the district at the qualifying deadline. He said he would withdraw. So District 4 will be open to everyone.”

Three Republicans will face off in the county commission District 2 primary for the nomination and the chance to face Democrat Erika J. Remsberg in the general election. Bob Robertson qualified using the petition method. Ken Littlefield and Mike Moore, who had a huge fundraising lead, paid the nearly $5,000 qualifying fee.

The District 2 seat currently is held by Pat Mulieri, who is not seeking re-election.

Tax Collector Mike Fasano was unopposed for the first time in his two-decade political career, so he will serve out the final two years of the late Mike Olson's term. State Sen. Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, state Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-Trinity, and County Court Judge Paul Edwin Firmani were also unopposed for reelection.

In the state House of Representatives District 36 race, James Mathieu and Chris Gregg will vie for the Republican nomination and right to take on incumbent Amanda Murphy in the general election.

In the House District 38 race, Republican Danny Burgess qualified to run against Democrat Beverly Ledbetter.

More than a dozen local judges were reelected without opposition. District 2 Court of Appeal Judge Chris Altenbernd will be challenged by Morris Silberman and Daniel Sleet. Sixth Circuit Judge Bruce Boyer will face Jon Newlon.

Also unopposed was Congressman Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor. His district encompasses all of Pasco County and parts of northern Pinellas.

rblair@tampatrib.com

(813) 371-1853

Twitter: @RBlairTBO

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