Schrader draws challenger for Pasco property appraiser
Ted Schrader won’t be unopposed for the Pasco Property Appraiser’s Office.
Republican Randy Evans who ran unsuccessfully for Pasco County Commission four years ago, is challenging Schrader in a GOP primary for the appraiser’s job. He filed his candidacy papers Tuesday afternoon.
The job is become open because five-term incumbent Property Appraiser Mike Wells Sr. is retiring this year. While announcing his planned departure in October 2015, Wells told journalists, “It’s time for new blood.’’
Evans seized on the remark.
“Like Mike Wells said, ‘It’s time for new blood.’ And by that I don’t think he meant recycled, establishment career politicians,’’ Evans said.
Schrader, a 16-year member of the of the Pasco County Commission, announced his candidacy for property appraiser immediately after Wells’ decision became public. So far, Schrader is the top fund-raiser of any candidate seeking local office in 2016, having raised $32,500 in the first two months of his campaign.
Evans, 52, who grew up in Clearwater, served 27 years in the U.S. Coast Guard, including serving as a special agent with the Guard’s investigative service where he worked on drug investigations and provided dignitary protection. He lives in Trinity with his wife and two daughters
In 2012, he collected 4,144 votes, 14 percent of the turnout, and finished fourth in a five-person Republican primary for the District 3 County Commission seat won by Kathryn Starkey.
What did he learn from his past campaign?
“Fund-raising, that was the big one. I don’t have the great name recognition like others in the county. I’m hoping those that saw me last time and the thousands who did vote for me will carry on.’’
He also acknowledged getting a tardy start this time.
“I don’t think any candidate should go unchallenged. People deserve a choice,’’ he said. “ No one else would jump in. You shouldn’t just walk away it. And, yes, I have some catching up to do.’’