Evans drops property appraiser bid, seeks Pasco commission seat
Randy Evans of Trinity has dropped out of the race for the Pasco Property Appraiser’s Office and instead is challenging incumbent Commissioner Kathryn Starkey in a Republican primary for the District 3 commission seat.
Evans ran for the same commission seat four years ago and finished fourth in a five-person primary won by Starkey. He collected 4,144 votes or 14 percent of the turnout then.
His change of heart turns the property appraiser’s contest into a two-person race between Commissioner Ted Schrader and Gary Joyner, a 33-year employee of the Pasco Tax Collector’s Office. Incumbent Property Appraiser Mike Wells Sr. is retiring after 20 years in that office.
“Last year, even before I decided to run for property appraiser, I had voters approaching me and asking me if I was going to run for county commission. I said I already had given voters that chance in 2012,’’ Evans said Tuesday.
However, he reconsidered, in part because he said his campaign had suffered because of the time spent caring for his 85-year-old father who has Alzheimer’s Disease and is in hospice care.
“I knew there was no path to victory for property appraiser, so I decided to listen to the voters and go for county commission,’’ he said. “And it’s now going to be a two-person race in the primary versus five people, so the vote won’t be split as much.’’
He said he will focus his campaign on, among other things, the county’s response to the 2015 floods and on Starkey’s support for a five-cents-per gallon increase in the gasoline tax. Starkey is seeking a second four-year term on the commission and previoulsy served on the Pasco School Board.
Evans remains at a distinct fund-raising disadvantage in the commission race. He has raised a little over $6,000 in cash and in-kind contributions since beginning his campaign for property appraiser in January. Starkey has raised more than $84,000.
The GOP primary is Aug. 30. Democrat Barry C. Horvath will face the winner in the November general election.