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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

As GOP floods zone for Pasco House race, Democrats hold back on naming candidate



GOP hopefuls haven’t been slow to raise their hands in the special election race for House District 36, but it’s been a different story for Democrats.

Two Republicans, party leader Jim Mathieu and Presbyterian minister Bill Gunter, wasted little time jumping into the race to succeed Mike Fasano after he resigned to become Pasco’s tax collector last week.

Another Republican, lawyer Jeff Lucas, briefly toyed with running but then threw his support behind Gunter.

By comparison, the Democrats seem to be sitting on their hands, which begs: Why move so slowly in a district that leans Democrat and twice backed Barack Obama?

While Democrat party leaders debate who to back, Republican candidates are talking endorsements and lining up campaign stops.

At first, party chair Lynn Lindeman said party leaders were waiting for the governor to set the dates for the primary and general elections, which he did last week for Sept. 17 and Oct. 15, respectively.

Then he said an announcement will come soon, probably by Tuesday. Now, he says there might be an announcement by the end of the week or possibly early next week.

Why the wait? He says the party is eying two candidates, both of which are strong. Until then, the leadership wants to stay mum until the formal announcement, he says.

In the meantime, he says, he’s content to watch the Republican clubs slug it out.

[Last modified: Wednesday, August 14, 2013 12:18pm]


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