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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Bunting bows out as chairman, not powerbroker

9

December

Bunting_3 Pasco County GOP Chairman Bill Bunting confirmed Monday he won't seek re-election as the Republican Party chieftain this month. He's supporting appliance businessman Randy Maggard of Zephyrhills, who has been making rounds with Bunting to gain support.

The move by Bunting, chairman since 2002, concludes a bitter power struggle this summer. Bunting unseated state committeeman John Renke II, a former lawmaker. Bunting also withstood a neighborhood mutiny to keep him off the county executive committee.

Now, a slate of pro-Bunting candidates led by Maggard -- who ran a campaign office this year -- are preparing to take more power. Not that Bunting is drifting away. Besides being state committeeman, he wants to continue pushing the state party's Second Amendment group and become Pasco's finance chairman.

And maybe puppet master? "I don’t play a puppet or second hand for nobody,” Maggard said. “Will I ask Bill for advice? You better believe it. I mean, Bill’s got a wealth of experience and information. Will I tell Bill no? Yes."

David DeCamp, Times Staff Writer

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[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:42am]

    

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