Fasano files for re-election as tax collector
Incumbent Pasco Tax Collector Mike Collector has filed to run for re-election to a full, four-year term in the office.
Fasano, 57, is a former 19-year member of the state Legislature. He moved to Pasco County in 1971, became a high-profile Republican State Committeeman and won election to the Legislature in 1994.
Gov. Rick Scott appointed Fasano tax collector in August 2013 following the death of longtime Tax Collector Mike Olson. Fasano, a Republican, ran unopposed in 2014 to complete the remaining two years of that term.
‘‘The job of being tax collector, but also being a public servant, I enjoy greatly. I’ve always enjoyed serving the public especially when it comes to constituent service and I hope I’ll be able to continue to do that,’’ Fasano said Tuesday afternoon.
Since becoming tax collector, Fasano opened an office in Wesley Chapel, redesigned the West Pasco Government Center office into a full-service outlet handling Department of Motor Vehicle duties, expanded office technology and changed the salary structure for employees including increasing the starting hourly salary from $9.25 to $12.
His announced opponent is Marisol Rodriguez, 28, a tax professional at H&R Block. She initially filed as a non-partisan candidate but switched her affiliation to the Democratic Party last month.
“I realized if I ran no party affiliation, I wasn’t being true to myself and the residents of Pasco. I am running to be a public servant, not a politician so I want to be transparent to the voter so they know who I am, what I stand for and how I can better Pasco County,’’ she said via email. She called herself “a conservative Democrat that is pro-choice, pro-medical marijuana and pro-gun control’’ while acknowledging those issues are unrelated to the duties of the tax collector’s office.