Builders endorse Wells, Starkey, Mariano in Pasco Commission races
The Tampa Bay Builders Association,has endorsed Republican Debbie Wells for the District 1 Pasco Commission seat being vacated by Ted Schrader.
Wells, who worked for more than two decades in sales and marketing for home-building companies, received the nod over her rivals in the Aug. 30 GOP primary, Ron Oakley and Rachel O’Connor.
“Debbie has many years of experience in our industry and understands our issues very well. I am also extremely impressed with her commitment to the community and how well she researches the issues facing all of us,’’ Jennifer Doerfel, TBBA executive vice president, wrote in an email to the Times.
The builders’ group, whose current president is Stew Gibbons of Connerton in Land O’Lakes, also backed incumbent Commissioners Kathryn Starkey and Jack Mariano in their re-election bids. Starkey faces Randy Evans in the District 3 Republican primary and Mariano is being challenged by Chris Cooley in the District 5 race.
“Commissioners Jack Mariano and Kathryn Starkey have both represented Pasco County well and we appreciate their leadership. We have enjoyed the opportunity to work together and address growth-related issues such as transportation and funding for future needs. We stand as a partner and resource to them as they make decisions to ensure Pasco maintains a desirable quality of life for generations to come,” Doerfel said via e-mail.
In 2013 and 2014, Mariano voted against the five-cent-per-gallon gasoline tax increase advocated by the builders to maintain Pasco roads and to subsidize the county’s transportation fees on new construction.
Wells said she also had received the personal endorsements of former Pasco Commissioner Pat Mulieri and Penny Morrill, the retired CEO of Sunrise of Pasco.
Evans announced he had been endorsed by the Personhood FL ProLife PAC. That group also endorsed O’Connor in the District 1 race, according to its web site.