Special election in HD 38 pits conventional GOP wisdom against the party of Trump

Only 5,000 voters have cast a ballot in the race so far.

Early voting is underway Friday and Saturday in the Florida House District 38 Special Election and the choice for Republicans could not be more different.

Voters will decide Tuesday who to send to the General Election in June.

Randy Maggard serves as the more establishment candidate. He’s got money and high-profile endorsements.

David McCallister is the establishment antithesis. He’s a die-hard Trump supporter who wears his red MAGA hat to campaign events proudly and consistently tells voters he’ll drain the swamp in Tallahassee.

The winner of that match-up will face Democrat Kelly Smith on June 18 in the deep-red district that includes most of Pasco County.

So far, 5,000 Republicans out of 44,000 have voted in the race. Early voting is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday with the Election Tuesday.

Maggard seems poised to deliver a solid victory over McCallister next week. He’s raised $116,000 so far in the race, according to the Florida Division of Elections campaign finance database. McCallister has raised just $35,000.

Maggard also has solid backing from the GOP. As chair of Pasco County Republican Executive Committee, Maggard earned some solid name recognition. He has support from Trilby Sen. Wilton Simpson, who represents part of Pasco County, as well as Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco and Tax Collector Mike Fasano.

But McCallister represents a different voter base — the one that hoisted President Donald Trump to victory in 2016. While Maggard is focused on issues surrounding water and transportation, McCallister is touting far-right support for things like banning the removal of confederate monuments.

McCallister’s most recent claim to fame is his 2017 effort to block Hillsborough County from removing a confederate monument from the Hillsborough County Courthouse, an effort in which he was ultimately unsuccessful. He’s the head of a local Sons of Confederacy group and is a frequent at Hillsborough County Commission speaking in support of Confederate history.

His platform includes removing restrictions on bump stocks on guns — the add-on feature that allows semi-automatic weapons to act similarly to fully-automatic ones. He also wants to protect the “unborn and newly born” by supporting fetal heartbeat legislation.

McCallister told Florida Politics in February he’s running to protect voters from the “radical left” agenda that seeks to “destroy the past in order to control the future.”

Though Maggard hasn’t made statues a monumental part of his campaign, he does take a similar stance on most GOP tent poles. His website touts him as a conservative Republican who is pro-2nd Amendment, pro life, a Trump supporter and for banning so-called “sanctuary cities.”

McCallister doesn’t live in the district he’s seeking. He currently lives in Temple Terrace, which is in Hillsborough County. If elected he’d have to move to the district.

Maggard and McCallister are running to replace Danny Burgess who left office after Governor Ron DeSantis appointed him to head the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected].


  • Kevin

    April 8, 2019 at 11:30 am

    Randy Maggard is a key component of the power clique that shuts down Conservative GOP clubs, and suppresses free speech. He is not a conservative, but gives lip service to conservatism to muddy the waters for the casual voter. If you like cozy deals between politicians and developers, who game the system to pave over the green hills of Pasco County, vote Maggard.
    You can tell when a man is a true leader, by the arrows in his back. David McCallister is the true conservative warrior, with the RINO arrows stuck in his back to prove it.

  • Jim Fox

    April 8, 2019 at 6:59 pm

    Democrats want this. They will with hold support allowing as many illegal aliens to

    enter the country before assisting in border security. Dems offer rewards,

    incentives so…..More caravans on the way. The current migration at our border is

    costing U.S taxpayers a Kings ransom. Fleeing persecution? or fleeing for

    freebies? they sure don’t stay in Mexico when they reach “safety” or ask or offered

    political asylum in Mexico. Why? because Mexico will give them NOTHING. So they

    make the long journey to our border, our generous Democrats, and our tax dollars.

    Notice how many have made the long, difficult, dangerous journey to our country

    8-9 months pregnant? Give birth on American soil and the U.S. taxpayers will not

    only pay for the birth of you’re child but will also give you state government


    TPS / DACA
    To Democrats/Progressives/Socialists (whats the difference?) programs like

    Temporary Protective Status (TPS) or Deferred Action for Childhood arrivals

    (DACA) are permanent programs….there is nothing “temporary or deferred” about

    these programs to Democrats. These programs are designed to admit refugees

    (usually from the third world) then Democrats fight to keep them here permanently

    using the charge of racism, religion, guilt against anyone opposed. Simple formula

    works great.

    Democrats view U.S. citizens as acceptable collateral damage to their future long

    range goals of flooding the country with refugees & illegal aliens and having

    taxpayers paying the cost. Democrat politicians and their voters have put families at

    risk of being victimized by illegal aliens as in the cases Kate Steinly (nothing done)

    then, Mollie Tibbetts, (nothing done) Police Cpl. Ronil Singh, (nothing done) now

    Bambi Larson; butchered in her home, nothing will be done…who’s next? These

    victims would be alive today if our border was secured. Most of these killers have

    been deported numerous times. Bambi ‘s killers claimed “amnesty” to get in.

    Google search “illegal alien crime” or “victims.” try not to puke the list is

    unbelievable. Preventable victimization’s.

    Just a few examples of the more outrageous costs associated with illegal

    immigration, we will pass this burden on to our children & grand children as has

    been passed on to us.

    *Cost of educating illegal aliens is staggering. From K-12 it costs taxpayers on

    average $122,000 for EACH illegal alien student. This does not include the millions

    spent on bilingual ED, instructors, special need children & day care. School class

    size are negatively impacted by illegal aliens and our students suffer as a result.

    *Taxpayers in some states are funding “in state college tuition” discounts for illegal

    aliens. (AZ voted to terminate this taxpayer expense.) Cost to taxpayers over a

    billion dollars annually.

    *About one in five inmates in federal prison are foreign-born, and more than 90

    percent of those are in the United States illegally. This does not include local jails

    and state prisons. At roughly $24,000 per year expense per inmate.

    *$3Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate, process Illegal aliens in the criminal

    justice system.

    *Every child birth by illegal aliens in the U.S is paid for with tax dollars.In the US, the

    average cost to have a baby without complications during delivery, is $10,808,

    which can increase to $30,000 when factoring in care provided before and after

    pregnancy (July 9, 2018 google.)

    * Section 8 housing. Illegal aliens take full advantage of this program. Citizens &

    their families in poverty in many cases wait years behind non citizens for

    emergency housing.

    *Congress is debating DACA and is costing taxpayers millions of dollars. Thank the

    parents and Barrack Obama.

    *$2.2 Billion dollars a year is spent on is spent on food assistance programs such

    as SNAP, WIC, & taxpayer funded school lunches. Visit youtube search “cost of

    illegal immigration.”

  • Kevin O'Neill

    April 8, 2019 at 11:46 pm

    David MAC McCallister first impressed me with his leadership seeking to prevent veteran memorials from being removed from the public square. I saw him deliver the honoring and respectful defense, to county commissioners in Hillsborough, while being hissed at by socialist that seek to use race to devide us, and seek to demean our civil war dead. Next, it will be our WW1 or WW2 memoruals. It takes guts to be the caveman when up against the crazy red flag flying crazues, but McCallister has those guts and did now quiver from the pressure.
    On these war memoruals, I have listened to him interviewed on radio and tv numerous times, seeking to protect our war dead with dugnity. I support him for this, and many other reasons.
    Additionally, his 30 year law practice of performing estate planning and contracts, makes him highly effective in the legislature.
    For the best Republican candidate to represent in the election ahead, vote for David MAC McAllister for Florida House today!

Comments are closed.


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