John Legg amps up campaign for Pasco Schools Superintendent

John Legg
Legg already has a massive fundraising advantage over his opponents for the open position.

Former Sen. John Legg has been in the race for Pasco County Schools Superintendent since mid-2022, but his campaign is just now hitting the gas in terms of public outreach.

Legg has launched a robust website and two social media channels, on Facebook and X.

Legg officially filed for the race on June 22, 2022, making him the first candidate to join the race. He faces Michelle Mandarin, who filed about six months after Legg in December, and Chris Dunning, who just filed earlier this month.

The former lawmaker has a leg up on his opponents in the race in fundraising, with more than $163,000 raised as of the end of December. Dunning, meanwhile, has raised less than $15,000 and Mandarin just over $1,500.

Legg posted to Facebook Monday reminding voters that the August Primary is now just six months away.

“Over the next several months, we have numerous activities, events, and volunteer opportunities planned, and I welcome new and old friends (and friends I am yet to meet!) to join our campaign for safer, stronger, smarter schools,” he wrote. He posted similar messaging to X.

Legg entered the race after incumbent Kurt Browning said he would not seek another term. He officially launched the campaign last April.

Legg is a former school administrator and classroom teacher — and he’s a lifelong Pasco resident. He and his wife, Suzanne, have raised five children in the county.

Legg also championed education issues in the Legislature, including as Chair of the Senate K-12 Committee from 2012-2016 and the House K-12 Education Committee from 2008-2010. He also holds a doctorate in program development in education, and a master of public administration from the University of South Florida.

Legg’s campaign includes several priorities “for a stronger Pasco school system,” including literacy; safe schools and student discipline; career and technical education; fiscal accountability; school choice; early learning; teacher respect; and family engagement.

His website also includes endorsements from two staples of Pasco County politics — Sheriff Chris Nocco and Tax Collector Mike Fasano. A video of Nocco shows him praising Legg as the best candidate to keep students safe, while Fasano offers support for Legg as a “proven lifelong educator.”

After a court-ordered redistricting of Florida’s Senate district boundaries in 2015, Legg opted not to run for another term in the Senate in 2016. Doing so at the time would have required challenging fellow Pasco County Sen. Wilton Simpson, who was already in line to become Senate President. He later opted out of a 2018 run as well.

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].


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