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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

House candidate Sprowls nets big-ticket law enforcement endorsements



Chris Sprowls, one of two Republican primary candidates vying to unseat Democratic State House District 65 incumbent Rep. Carl Zimmerman in the general election, has picked up a slew of big-ticket endorsements from heavy hitters in the law-enforcement arena.

Sprowls has worked six years at the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office, where he is a special prosecutor in the gang unit and director of the Veterans Treatment Court.

His boss State Attorney Bernie McCabe and Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri give glowing reviews in a television commercial which touts Sprowls' dedication to putting criminals behind bars.

Sprowls, whose resume includes past stints as a congressional page and legislative intern for Sen. Mike Fasano and Rep. Gus Bilirakis, also features statements of support from both on his website.

Other supporters include Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, Pinellas Property Appraiser Pam Dubov and a bevy of prominent veterans and local elected officials.

Meanwhile, Sprowls' opponent, Debbie Faulkner, told the Tampa Bay Times days ahead of the Tuesday primary that she was unsure whether she had any formal endorsements.

Faulkner, a former prosecutor's office colleague of Sprowls who supported him before he dropped his initial campaign bid in 2012, has shirked big-ticket fundraising, paid volunteerism or lobbyist support.

Instead, the private tax attorney has focused on painting contrasts between herself and Sprowls, saying her grassroots campaign's focus is ensuring transparency and homegrown representation that serves local interests.

House District 65 encompasses a section of northern Pinellas County which includes Palm Harbor, Tarpon Springs and Dunedin, and was formerly District 48. State representatives serve two-year terms and are paid $29,697 a year.

[Last modified: Tuesday, August 19, 2014 6:04pm]


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