House Speaker Richard Corcoran weighed on the race for seat he’s vacating in the fall, offering his endorsement to Land O’ Lakes businessman Ardian Zika.
“I’ve long admired Ardian Zika’s service and commitment to Pasco County and Florida,” Corcoran said Wednesday. “Ardian and I share the priorities of faith and family and I am grateful for his commitment to our community.
“Ardian is a true conservative leader that understands the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for Florida. I am confident Ardian Zika will represent the people of House District 37 well and he has my strong support and my vote this election.”
Corcoran cannot run for re-election in the fall due to term limits. His endorsement comes after Zika received more than 57 percent of the vote in the three-way Republican primary for Pasco County-based state House district. He faces Democratic nominee Tammy Garcia, also of Land O’Lakes, in the general election.
“I am honored and humbled to receive the endorsement of Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives Richard Corcoran,” Zika said. “Speaker Corcoran has been a principled leader fighting for all Florida and has well represented the people of House District 37 over the past eight years. I am grateful for Speaker Corcoran’s service to the people of Pasco County and the State of Florida.”
HD 37 covers the majority of inland Pasco County, including the communities of Land O’ Lakes, Odessa, Heritage Pines, Shady Hills, Meadow Oaks and Moon Lake.
Though Corcoran never faced an Election Day challenger in his three campaign since the seat was redrawn ahead of the 2012 cycle, the district has voted overwhelmingly for Republicans in statewide elections. Donald Trump carried the HD 37 by a 61-34 percent margin in 2016.
Prior to earning the nod from Corcoran, Zika had picked up endorsements from St. Petersburg Republican Sen. Jeff Brandes, Senate Majority Leader Wilton Simpson, former House Speaker Will Weatherford, Pasco Tax Collector Mike Fasano and Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco.
Election Day is Nov. 6.