Florida Senate Majority Leader Wilton Simpson is the latest Republican to endorse Ardian Zika in the Pasco County-area House District 37 race for 2018.
“Ardian Zika’s story is a modern-day story of the American Dream,” Simpson said Tuesday in a statement from the Zika campaign, referring to the Land O’ Lakes businessman’s background, which includes leaving war-torn Kosovo 20 years ago to come to the United States.
“He has since completed an education, spent a decade and a half in the banking industry in a variety of leadership positions and started his own business,” Simpson added. “He and his wife have five children and are active members of their church. Ardian Zika has the common-sense experience we need to represent us in our state capitol.”
“This election, Ardian Zika has my strong support to serve as our Florida House Representative from District 37.”
House Speaker Richard Corcoran currently occupies the House District 37 seat, but the 37-year-old Zika is quickly becoming an establishment favorite to succeed Corcoran, who is term-limited next year.
Former House Speaker Will Weatherford has already contributed $1,000 to Zika’s campaign, as has Simpson, his wife and two connected companies. All told, Zika raised more than $100,000 since entering the race in August.
“Senator Simpson has been a role model and a positive example for me, both as a successful business owner and in how he serves our community and gives back,” said Zika. “I am honored and humbled to have Senator Simpson’s support and endorsement.”
George Agovino, Elle Rudisell and Bill Gunter have also entered the Republican HD 37 primary.