Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Politics

Former Hernando Commissioner Rose Rocco enters race for state House seat

Former Hernando County Commissioner Rose Rocco is making another bid for the state House of Representatives.

Rocco, 72, filed Friday to run as a Democrat for the District 35 seat currently held by Republican Rob Schenck, who must leave office because of term limits. The district includes most of Hernando except for the area generally north of State Road 50 and west of the Suncoast Parkway.

Rocco, of Spring Hill, said Democratic Party officials urged her to run months ago but that she had to tend to some personal issues before making a decision. She said the same issues that motivated her to challenge Schenck in 2012 — insurance reform, economic development and the need for more technical education — spurred her this time.

"It's important to have someone to run for the seat who knows the issues and can represent the county as an advocate and not be beholden to any political party," Rocco said.

The move sets up a primary race with David Welch, who filed as a Democrat in October. Welch, 49, is a residential counselor at a mental health center and president of the Hernando chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

A permanent resident of Hernando since 1993, Rocco served one term on the County Commission from 2006 to 2010 and has been active in a variety of community groups. Her 2012 bid was her first for state office. She moved automatically to the general election after no other Democrat filed, and Schenck won handily with more than 55 percent of the vote.

Blaise Ingoglia, a 43-year-old Spring Hill home builder, was the only Republican in the race as of Friday. As chairman of the Hernando Republican Executive Committee and vice chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, Ingoglia will be a formidable opponent in a district that favors a Republican. His latest campaign report shows he has raised nearly $130,000, and he has racked up a stack of endorsements from prominent Republicans throughout the state.

Hernando Democratic Executive Committee Chairman Steve Zeledon said Rocco's entry into the race bodes well for the party.

"Now we've got two solid candidates," Zeledon said.

Tony Marrero can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1431. Follow @tmarrerotimes on Twitter.

Comments
Trump violated the Constitution when he blocked his critics on Twitter, a federal judge rules

Trump violated the Constitution when he blocked his critics on Twitter, a federal judge rules

President Donald Trump’s decision to block his Twitter followers for their political views is a violation of the First Amendment, a federal judge ruled Wednesday, saying that Trump’s effort to silence his critics is not permissible under the U.S. Con...
Updated: 1 hour ago
All those city services that fuel Lightning fever? Team, not taxpayers, foot the bill

All those city services that fuel Lightning fever? Team, not taxpayers, foot the bill

TAMPA — All those public watch parties during the Tampa Bay Lightning’s postseason run? And how about the rally at Joe Chillura Courthouse Square Park with the big white Lightning logo spray-painted on the grass? You need police to prote...
Published: 05/23/18
Romano: A pathetic legacy for Florida’s all-or-nothing Democrats

Romano: A pathetic legacy for Florida’s all-or-nothing Democrats

Explain this to me: In the world of partisan politics, how is being an independent thinker a bad thing? When it comes to general elections, we seem to like rogues and mavericks. We want outsiders and swamp scrubbers. Folks appreciate a good finger-...
Published: 05/22/18
‘World’s most expensive Witch Hunt’: Trump lashes out at New York Times, Democrats

‘World’s most expensive Witch Hunt’: Trump lashes out at New York Times, Democrats

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump lashed out Sunday at "the World’s most expensive Witch Hunt," trashing a new report in the New York Times that said an emissary representing the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates offered help...
Published: 05/20/18
Obama’s education secretary: Let’s boycott school until gun laws change

Obama’s education secretary: Let’s boycott school until gun laws change

Former Education Secretary Arne Duncan pushed a radical idea on Twitter: Parents should pull their children out of school until elected officials pass stricter gun control laws.His tweet came hours after a shooting rampage at a Houston-area high scho...
Published: 05/20/18
China offers to buy more US products to reduce trade imbalance

China offers to buy more US products to reduce trade imbalance

WASHINGTON - China offered to boost its annual purchases of U.S. products by "at least $200 billion" Friday as two days of talks aimed at averting an open breach between the two countries ended in Washington, a top White House adviser said.Larry Kudl...
Published: 05/19/18
Hillsborough candidate falsified contract for fund-raising gospel concert, lawsuit says

Hillsborough candidate falsified contract for fund-raising gospel concert, lawsuit says

TAMPA — A concert organizer is accusing Hillsborough County Commission candidate Elvis Piggott of falsifying a contract and prompting the headline act to pull out of a gospel show.In a lawsuit filed in Hillsborough Circuit Court, Corey Curry claims h...
Published: 05/18/18
Gina Haspel confirmed as CIA chief despite scrutiny of her role in interrogation program

Gina Haspel confirmed as CIA chief despite scrutiny of her role in interrogation program

WASHINGTON - The Senate voted Thursday to confirm Gina Haspel as the next CIA director after several Democrats were persuaded to support her despite lingering concerns about her role in the brutal interrogation of suspected terrorists captured after ...
Published: 05/17/18
GOP pushes for speedy confirmation vote for CIA nominee

GOP pushes for speedy confirmation vote for CIA nominee

WASHINGTON — Republicans are pushing for a speedy confirmation vote as early as Thursday after the Senate intelligence committee endorsed President Donald Trump’s CIA nominee Gina Haspel to lead the spy agency. But opponents concerned about Haspel’s ...
Published: 05/16/18
Gina Haspel, Trump’s pick to lead CIA, wins support of Senate Intelligence Committee

Gina Haspel, Trump’s pick to lead CIA, wins support of Senate Intelligence Committee

WASHINGTON - The Senate Intelligence Committee moved Wednesday to recommend Gina Haspel for CIA director, setting up a floor vote that her opponents say will signal to the world whether the United States condemns or condones torture.The committee vot...
Published: 05/16/18