Republican Joe Wicker picked up another elected official endorsement Tuesday, this time from Hillsborough County Commissioner Stacy White.
“We have the chance to elect a common sense, conservative leader with real-world experience growing a business and protecting our country. Joe is passionate about serving our community and finding solutions to the challenges facing our county, region, and state. I wholeheartedly support him to be our next State Representative and I know without a doubt he will make an excellent Representative,” White said in a news release.
Wicker is running for Hillsborough County-based House District 59, currently held by Republican Rep. Ross Spano, who is running for Attorney General in 2018. Spano already gave Wicker his endorsement last month.
“Commissioner White is a dedicated public servant who is not just a good steward of Hillsborough County taxpayers’ dollars, but constantly seeks to find efficiencies in government and reduce the waste in our local budget. His service to our county sets a standard by which all public servants should hope to meet and I will work with Commissioner White to continue to seek out and eliminate waste in government,” Wicker said.
In 2012 the Atlanta native and Army veteran was the second-place finisher behind Spano in the Republican Primary race for the newly redrawn seat.
With Spano trying his hand at higher office, the path to the Legislature is likely easier for Wicker, who proved in that election that he knows how to raise a little money — he brought in $79,234 for his primary effort — and that he was likable enough on the trail to get some votes. He received 3,222 in that bid, just 175 fewer than Spano.
Wicker is currently the only candidate running for the seat, but that could change as Democrats have eyed the seat for a flip despite limited success in past elections.
Last year, Spano defeated Democrat Rena Frazier by eight points, 54-46 percent, much to the disappointment of officials with the Florida Democratic Party, who thought they had a legitimate chance of capturing the seat and dumped financial resources into that campaign.
HD 59 encompasses most of Brandon, as well as Valrico, Dover, Seffner, Riverview, Palm River and Clair-Mel City.