Less than a week after declaring a run for Attorney General next year, Dover Republican Ross Spano has already selected the man he hopes will succeed him in Florida’s House District 59.
It’s Joe Wicker, the Brandon businessman and Iraq War veteran who finished a close second to Spano for the seat in the 2012 GOP primary in HD 59.
“I’ve had the pleasure to represent District 59 for three terms and I can think of no better candidate to serve our community next than Joe Wicker. Joe is a common-sense conservative and patriot to our nation,” said Spano. “As a small-business owner, Joe knows exactly how we can grow Florida’s economy and provide prosperity for all. As a combat veteran, Joe will continue the work of previous legislators in making Florida the most veteran-friendly state in the country. I am proud to endorse my friend, Joe Wicker, for State Representative and he has my full support.”
“My wife and I are blessed to call Representative Spano and his wife friends. They are truly committed to serving our community and have dedicated themselves to public service,” Wicker said. “During his time in the legislature, Representative Spano has tackled big issues that will have a positive, lasting impact on our state for decades to come. He leaves very big shoes to fill, but I am honored by his support and trust and look forward the work ahead in this campaign.”
Speaking Sunday at the Hillsborough County Republican Party Lincoln Day BBQ, Wicker warned of a Democratic Party takeover of the Brandon area in 2018, saying it was important to keep the HD 59 seat conservative.
“A lot of people are moving here and that’s great,” Wicker said. “A lot of people, we don’t want their politics. There’s a lot of leftists that are moving to town. It’s changing the district.”
Wicker announced his candidacy Friday, becoming the first member of either major party to declare their candidacy for the seat, which encompasses most Brandon, as well as Valrico, Dover, Seffner, Riverview, Palm River and Clair-Mel City.