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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

More endorsements in the race to replace Mike Fasano



The latest endorsements for candidates trying to replace Mike Fasano in House District 36 come from a former county commissioner and a Republican group that promotes “limited government, free markets and individual liberty.”

Small-government advocate the Pasco chapter of The Republican Liberty Caucus of Tampa Bay said this week it’s backing Jeromy Harding, an insurance agent and one of three Republicans aiming to replace Fasano who resigned to become Pasco’s tax collector.

“I am very confident that you will serve the interests of your constituents without the undue influence of special interest groups, power machine politics and with the integrity expected of an excellent representative,” Grady Peeler Jr., director of the chapter, said in a letter to Harding.

And former Commissioner Michael Cox said this week he’s supporting Democrat Amanda Murphy, a Raymond James investment adviser.

The announcement from Cox comes after a spate of endorsements the past couple of weeks for Murphy’s Republican challengers.

“Amanda is going to make a great state representative for the families and taxpayers of Pasco County,” said Cox, a Democrat. “She is a strong, dedicated member of the community who will be able to continue Fasano’s tradition of service in representing Pasco County.”

The Republican Liberty Caucus is not to be confused with the Libertarian Party of Pasco County, which also makes endorsements.

Wednesday night, Harding addressed 15 members of the Libertarian Party at Boulevard Beef & Ale in downtown New Port Richey.

Though the party did not officially back Harding, he seems to have made an impression on vice chairman Alex Snitker, who said he is “adamantly opposed” to Harding’s GOP opponents, Jim Mathieu and Bill Gunter.

Snitker and the Libertarians have yet to meet Murphy after an invitation went out this week.

Last year, Snitker supported Murphy’s husband, Matt Murphy, when he faced Kathryn Starkey in the general election for county commission.

Snitker said the Libertarians will endorse a candidate after the Republican primary, Sept. 17.

[Last modified: Thursday, August 29, 2013 3:49pm]


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