Fourth candidate joins District 5 Pasco Commission race
The line of challengers to incumbent Pasco Commissioner Jack Marino is growing with Hudson business owner Thomas Celotto joining the Republican field.
Celotto, 48, filed his candidacy papers Thursday to seek the District 5 commission seat held by Mariano since 2004. Besides the incumbent, the candidates include New Port Richey Deputy Mayor Bill Phillips and business owner Chris Cooley.
Celotto founded Micro Solutions of Pasco Inc., an information technology company, more than 20 years ago. He also owns a seasonal retail fireworks store.
Celotto is president of Leadership Pasco and a graduate of the Pasco County government citizens academy. He said he began planning a run for office several years ago after seeing how hard the local economy was hit by the slowed construction industry.
“Our primary industry is construction; that needs to change, said Celotto. “We need more diversity. We need to be entertaining businesses in technology and solar energy to come here.’’
He also said the county must do a better job of focusing on the needs of small businesses. It is the same strategy recommended by the Urban Land Institute consultants in 2013 and one the Pasco Economic Development Council began trying to implement shortly afterward.
The primary election is Aug. 30.