Senate President Wilton Simpson said Friday he won’t consider taking sides in the Senate District 10 race between two sitting House members until after new district maps are set.
Simpson, attending the Citrus County Legislative Delegation meeting in Inverness, sidestepped a question afterward about who he’s supporting in the Senate race between Reps. Blaise Ingoglia and Ralph Massullo.
“First thing we need to do is get the maps finished,” he said. “Until redistricting is completed, we don’t know. Once that happens, we’ll take a look at it.”
Ingoglia, a Spring Hill Republican, is completing his fourth term in the House and cannot run again due to term limits. Massullo, a Lecanto Republican, has three terms in the House and this week switched his re-election candidacy for District 34 to a campaign for SD 10.
Proposed maps show a Senate District 10 including all of Citrus, Hernando and Sumter counties, plus a portion of Pasco. Simpson, the Trilby Republican who now represents the district, is running for Agriculture Commissioner.
Both Ingoglia and Massullo have sizable campaign war chests, at least in part through their own wallets.
Through political committees and his campaign account, Ingoglia has about $2 million on hand through the end of November, including $500,000 he loaned his campaign.
Massullo has netted about $385,000 through November, but started his Senate campaign on Dec. 7 by loaning the campaign $1.5 million. That loan will show up in the December spending report, Massullo said.
Massullo said it “wouldn’t be prudent” for Simpson to take sides in a race when the district boundaries are not yet set.
He said he won’t run against someone the Senate leadership supports.
“It would be great if they supported me,” Massullo said.
Asked if Massullo and Ingoglia had sought his support, Simpson smiled at a reporter and declined to comment.
“We’ll see when the maps get done. Then we’ll talk about it.”