Tax collector aide to seek Pasco property appraiser's post
Pasco County continues to keep it all in the family this political season.
First it was Debbie Wells, former wife of retiring Property Appraiser Mike Wells Sr., filing to run for the Pasco Commission District 1 seat. If elected, she will serve with her former son-in-law, Commissioner Mike Wells Jr.
Now, the race for property appraiser has drawn a little less well-known political name, but one that’s been on the ballot before. Gary Joiner, 52, the director of operations at the Pasco Tax Collector’s Office, has filed candidacy papers to run for property appraiser.
Joiner is the son of Gary W. “Buck’’ Joiner Sr., a 12-year member of the Pasco Mosquito Control District Commission. Joiner Sr., 76, is seeking re-election to the part-time, non-partisan mosquito board and his name will be on the November ballot.
The younger Joiner joins the Aug. 30 Republican primary field for property appraiser that also includes current District 1 County Commissioner Ted Schrader and Randy Evans of Trinity. So far, no Democratic candidate has filed for the office.
Joiner was passed over for the tax collector’s job in 2013 when Gov. Rick Scott appointed Mike Fasano to fill the vacancy created by the death of longtime Tax Collector Mike Olson.
“I’ve always wanted this (tax collector’s) job,’’ Joiner said Wednesday, “but with Mike (Fasano) being here, Mike’s going to be here as long as he wants to be. I would never run against Mike Wells (for property appraiser), but it probably doesn’t get any better time to do this. It’s an open seat and I’ve been kicked it around since January.’’
He said he spoke to his wife, Sherri, over the weekend who advised him, “if you’re ever going to do it, you better jump on it.’’ He filed his candidacy papers Monday afternoon and informed Fasano of his decision.
“I said, ‘Good luck and God bless.’ I had no idea he was even thinking about doing it,’’ Fasano said.
Joiner, who has been at the tax collector’s office for 33 years, is well known in west Pasco, but hasn’t been active aggressively in past political seasons. Campaign records at the Pasco Supervisor of Elections Office show him making just a single contribution over the past decade - $500 to Olson’s 2012 campaign.
His father, meanwhile, has made occasional contributions over the years, one of the largest of which was a $325 in-kind donation in 2008 to an incumbent county commissioner seeking re-election – Schrader.
The younger Joiner said he intends to raise campaign contributions and pay the filing fee to qualify for primary ballot.