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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Wallace accuses Legg of not living in district, urges him to resign



Update: In response to this post, Rep. John Legg, R-New Port Richey, released the following comment.

"My wife and I have two houses, one is in my current House District and the other is in the Senate District for which I am running.  I have begun preparations to be in the Senate District by Election Day as Florida Statutes require, and I have been advised by the House General Council that those preparations are fine and there is no obligation for me to resign."

Former Rep. Rob Wallace is urging Rep. John Legg, R-New Port Richey, to resign from the House for not living in his district.

The two are facing off--alongside former marine John Korsak--for the newly drawn District 17 Senate seat, comprised of parts of Hillsborough and Pasco counties. Senate leadership has thrown its influence and money behind Legg.

It's unlikely that Legg would actually resign or that Wallace could force him to.

"I don't have the funds to go after him on this," Wallace said. "I'll leave this one up to the court of public opinion."

For the most part, public records back up Wallace's claim that Legg doesn't live in his district.

Legg recently changed his voter registration, driver's license, and financial disclosure forms to an address squarely in his hopeful Senate district, where his wife and children live.

That address is represented by Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-Trinity.

So now, District 45, made up of parts of Pasco and Pinellas, hosts two representatives, while its southern neighbor has a representative who's a resident part-time or not at all.

Legg did not answer calls from the Times/Herald, but he still claims homestead exemption in his own House district and previously told the Times he's living in both homes, which are about 25 minutes driving distance from each other.

"He abandoned the constituents," Wallace said. "He's supposed to be there for constituent service."

Redistricting set dozens of lawmakers on the move this year as they re-positioned to run in their best-chance districts.

Legg found himself in a tight spot when he jumped into the Senate race. If he'd run for Senate using his old address, his opponents might have drilled Legg for running for a Senate seat where he didn't even live.

But Wallace said that's not so. 

"There's no duty to be in the district when you register," he said. "Only to be in the district you're representing at the time."

Twitter: Britt_alana


[Last modified: Friday, July 20, 2012 2:53pm]


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