Oakley to make second run for Pasco commission
NEW PORT RICHEY – Pasco Commission candidates Debbie Wells and Rachel O’Connor spent Tuesday morning observing county commissioners at work during their meeting at the West Pasco Government Center. Ronald Oakley spent his time joining them in the District 1 race to succeed Commissioner Ted Schrader.
Oakley, 70, a citrus grower and cattle rancher in Zephyrhills, filed his candidacy papers Tuesday to make a second run for the county commission. Oakley and O’Connor unsuccessfully challenged Schrader in the 2012 winner-take-all, three-person Republican primary. Schrader is not seeking re-election to a fifth term on the commission and is running for Pasco property appraiser.
Oakley spent $176,000 of his own money in the 2012 campaign, a tactic he doesn’t plan to repeat this time around.
“I do not,’’ Oakley said when asked if he plans to spend his own resources in the race. “I have a lot of supporters and a lot of people say they’re going to support me. It won’t be like last time when you’re running against an incumbent. It’s a whole different deal when it’s an open seat.’’
Oakley, a former chairman of the Southwest Florida Water Management District board of directors, said some of top issues facing the county include flooding, redevelopment and transportation.
The Republican primary is Aug. 30, 2016. No Democratic candidate has entered the race.