Two Republicans, one Democrat make HD 38 ballot

Maggard Art (1)
The race will likely be decided in the Republican primary.

Three candidates, two Republicans and one Democrat, qualified for the special election for Pasco County’s House District 38.

Randy Maggard and David “Mac” McCallister, both of Dade City, will square off in an April 9 primary election. The winner will move on to face Democrat Kelly Smith in a June 18 general election.

The trio are seeking to replace former Rep. Danny Burgess, who was tapped by Gov. Ron DeSantis to lead the state Department of Veterans Affairs.

Maggard likely breathed a sigh of relief Monday after former Tampa Rep. Shawn Harrison announced he wouldn’t run in the special.

The Pasco Republican Party chair and current member of the Southwest Florida Water Management District Governing Board was briefly unopposed in the primary following that announcement, though McCallister entered the race a just a few hours later.

Maggard hasn’t shown any fundraising numbers yet, though if endorsements are any indication, he’s the early favorite to win the Republican nomination.

His list of backers includes former House Speaker and current Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, Trilby Sen. Wilton Simpson, Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco, Pasco Tax Collector Mike Fasano, Pasco Superintendent of Schools Kurt Browning, as well as Pasco Commissioners Ron Oakley and Mike Moore.

The winner of the primary will move on to the general against Smith, the vice chair of the Pasco County Democratic Executive Committee who ran unsuccessfully last year for Pasco County Commission. She lost that race in November to incumbent Republican Mike Moore by nearly 10 points.

Whether it’s Maggard or McCallister, the GOP nominee will be the prohibitive favorite on Election Day. The seat has been held by a Republican since it was reapportioned ahead of the 2012 election cycle.

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.


4 comments

  • Sarah C. Longstaff

    February 14, 2019 at 10:17 pm

    Why did you not even give Kelly Smith’s qualifications? She’s the only candidate with actual government experience. Please do some research and profile her! Enough with the good ole boys.

  • Sarah C. Longstaff

    February 14, 2019 at 10:20 pm

    “I began my career in municipal government and served as the zoning administrator for the City of Marco Island for eight years. During that time, the community was dealing with many of the same development challenges that Pasco County is dealing with now. Currently I serve as an operations coordinator with an international engineering firm that specializes in transportation engineering. The execution of development and growth is the biggest challenge facing Pasco County, and I have the knowledge and experience to make sure that the county’s future is led by responsible development…. I believe in science. Climate change is real and we have a moral obligation to preserve our natural resources for future generations. I pledge to support the Florida Environmental Bill of Rights.” Thanks to Mariano, Pasco is the only Tampa Bay area county who didn’t sign on to that. We need someone scientifically literate to advocate for our county as our state gets flooded!

  • Lee Ogden

    February 15, 2019 at 8:53 am

    Please check out Kelly Smith’s website and facebook page for her qualifications if you would like to see a fresh new face.

    kellysmithforpasco.com
    “I began my career in municipal government and served as the zoning administrator for the City of Marco Island for eight years. During that time, the community was dealing with many of the same development challenges that Pasco County is dealing with now. Currently I serve as an operations coordinator with an international engineering firm that specializes in transportation engineering. The execution of development and growth is the biggest challenge facing Pasco County, and I have the knowledge and experience to make sure that the county’s future is led by responsible development…. I believe in science. Climate change is real and we have a moral obligation to preserve our natural resources for future generations. I pledge to support the Florida Environmental Bill of Rights.” Thanks to Mariano, Pasco is the only Tampa Bay area county who didn’t sign on to that. We need someone scientifically literate to advocate for our county as our state gets flooded!

  • Stefanie Schatzman

    February 15, 2019 at 9:02 am

    Mike Moore won by 10 points over Kelly Smith for Pasco County commissioner. That’s very impressive considering Mike Moore had over $300,000 in campaign donations and Kelly Smith had under $26,000 in campaign donations. Consider that Ron Oakley is the Pasco commissioner for our district and my nickname for him is Where’s Oakley…he’s invisible; makes no effort to see firsthand the average Pasco citizens impacts before voting to approve negative impacting businesses so his endorsement is useless just as he is…Mike Moore…his endorsement…well, Mike Moore received at least $22,000 in campaign donations from Lew Friedland businesses…Lew Friedland, president and manager of Seven Diamonds wanted a limestone blasting mine in our defenseless community. Mike Moore obviously supported that limestone blasting mine in the Weeki Wachee Springshed and abutting residential homes. We don’t need another Republican working for the benefit of businesses and the detriment of citizens.

Comments are closed.


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