The Democratic successor to Mike Fasano?
No strong Democrat has yet emerged to run for the recently vacated state House seat of Pasco Tax Collector Mike Fasano but we're hearing a fair amount of Buzz about one person in particular: Alice Delgardo, a United Way of Pasco County leader who ran unsuccessfully for schools superintendent in 2004.
A Holiday resident who also happens to be a nurse, ordained minister, and onetime legislative staffer in Massachusetts, Democratic fans describe the 61-year Delgardo as the sort of centrist, consumer-oriented Democrat who could fit well in the district where voters adored the populist sensibilities of Fasano (and where polls supposedly show Rick Scott deeply unpopular).
This is not at all a done deal, but there seems to be a good deal of enthusiasm at least about the idea of a run by Delgardo, who has impressed a lot of politicos from both parties who have come to know her since she moved to Pasco from Boston in 2002. Heather Fiorentino trounced Delgardo in the superintendent race in 2004, but Delgardo was a last minute candidate who ran in large part mainly to ensure a Democrat was on the ballot and more than 150,000 county Democrats could cast ballots in the race.
So far two Republicans, Jim Mathieu and Bill Gunter, have enterred the race, and Fasano has said he will be neutral.
It's a largely working class district Barack Obama won twice, and Alex Sink barely lost in 2010. Independent candidate Charlie Crist won the district in the 2010 U.S. Senate race, and last year Bill Nelson crushed Connie Mack IV with 62 percent of the vote. In other words, Republicans may have an edge in replacing Fasano, but Democrats can win there - with the right candidate. Whether that's Delgardo remains to be seen.