Fiorentino kicks off reelection campaign
Pasco County schools superintendent Heather Fiorentino is getting her reelection bid moving while her possible high-profile opponents continue to keep mum on whether they'll mount a challenge.
And she's got some of the county's leading Republicans in her corner.
Sen. Mike Fasano, Rep. John Legg, County Commissioner Pat Mulieri and businessman Tom Castriota are among those hosting Fiorentino's campaign kick-off on Tuesday in Odessa. Fiorentino announced her plans in January, as rumors swirled that former Pasco elections supervisor Kurt Browning might jump into the Republican primary race.
Browning did resign his job as secretary of state in the Rick Scott administration a few days later. He also acknowledged he might run against the two-term incumbent. But he has yet to commit to the race, and has said he will not make a decision until after the Jan. 31 presidential primary is certified.
He did not return calls seeking comment on his plans after the voting was done.
That leaves just one potential challenger in the running against Fiorentino so far. Moon Lake construction worker Kenneth W. Benson has filed papers to run.
Benson told the Gradebook he had collected about 200 signatures of 2,918 needed to qualify for the ballot, as of a week ago. A reader sent us a copy of a palm card Benson was handing out while seeking support. It says, "Kenneth W. Benson for superintendent of schools. Our Holy Bible is the foundation."
Official qualifying for the position comes in June.