Zephyrhills Republican Rep. Danny Burgess on Tuesday endorsed Tampa businessman Aakash Patel for the District 1 seat on the Hillsborough County Commission.
“I am honored to offer my support and endorsement to Aakash. He is a very successful businessman and I know he will take his strong drive and dedication to our community to the County Commission,” Burgess said in a press release.
“I am certain he will apply his conservative ideals and objectives to important issues in Hillsborough County and I look forward to working with him in that capacity.”
Patel is one of three candidates running for the seat currently held by Republican Commissioner Sandra Murman, who is vacating her seat two years early to run in the six-way race for the countywide District 7 seat in 2018.
“I am honored to have Representative Burgess support and endorse me in this County Commission race. I have known Danny for a long time and I truly respect the work he has done to bring conservative policies to all levels of government he has served,” Patel said.
“From Zephyrhills City Hall to the Florida State Capitol, I appreciate all that he does and I look forward to working with him on important conservative issues when I am elected to the County Commission.”
Burgess’ endorsement is the latest for Patel, who has piled on numerous nods from Republican elected officials in the Tampa Bay region, including Tarpon Springs U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, former House Speaker Will Weatherford and Sarasota state Rep. Joe Gruters.
Patel is the fundraising leader with more than $400,000 raised between his campaign and committee through the end of March. He had $260,525 banked heading into April.
Fellow Republican Todd Marks had raised $77,125 through the same date and had about $76,000 on hand. Businesswoman Jen McDonald filed for the seat last week, replacing House Minority Leader Janet Cruz as the Democratic option in the race. McDonald has not yet filed a campaign finance report.