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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Ann Hildebrand flirted with running for Mike Fasano's seat, but she doesn't meet residency requirement

19

August

Ann Hildebrand’s brief flirtation with a political comeback ended almost as soon as it began.

The longtime Republican was mulling a run for Mike Fasano's former House seat after stepping down last fall from the Pasco County Commission and retiring to a lakeside home outside Auburn, Ala.

She chatted last week with Pasco Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley and everything seemed a go.

All that remained was to make up her mind about whether to actually run for the District 36 seat that opened up a few weeks ago when Fasano resigned to become Pasco’s tax collector.

She needed to register to vote in the district and rent a condo in New Port Richey, which a friend had lined up, to meet the residency requirement.

She was to make a final decision today, this afternoon in fact, when it turned out that Hildebrand’s comeback dream wouldn’t go anywhere.

Corley called back, leaving a voicemail asking her not send her candidacy papers to the state’s Division of Elections, that there was a problem.

After further review, he said, he found a section of the state’s Constitution that requires candidates to live in the state for at least two years before running for elected office.

Hildebrand, 75, changed her residency after retiring in November, so technically she wasn’t eligible to run, even though she had lived more than 40 years in Pasco and served 28 on the County Commission, he said.

“It is what it is,” Hildebrand said. “Sure, there is a part of me that’s a little disappointed, but I guess everything works out for a reason. I just appreciate all of my friends and the support I received.”

Had she been permitted to run she would have faced a crowded primary field.

Three Republicans are running: attorney Jim Mathieu, chair of Pasco’s Republicans; Bill Gunter, a Presbyterian minister; and newcomer Jeromy Harding, who works at a family run insurance company.

[Last modified: Monday, August 19, 2013 6:35pm]

    

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