BROOKSVILLE — Leodon "Leo" Killinger doesn't have a laundry list of criticisms to levy against U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite.
Killinger, a 59-year-old resident of the Villages in Sumter County, says he wants to "give government back to the people" and happens to live in the 5th Congressional District. So, he has filed papers to challenge Brown-Waite, a four-term incumbent from Brooksville, in the Republican primary on Aug. 24.
"I just thought, you know, I think I can help. So, I'm going to see if I can," Killinger said Monday.
Killinger said he spent eight years in the Coast Guard Reserve after high school and has worked in construction for most of his career. He and his wife, Mary, moved from Maine to the Villages about four years ago. They have four grown children.
Killinger is a senior project manager for JHM Hotels, helping to oversee the company's construction projects.
He said he is most concerned about a less-than-transparent government budget process. "There's no way in my eyes any politician should have to go behind a closed door and keep the public uninvolved," he said.
Jason Sager, 36, an unemployed audiovisual engineer who organized a tax Tea Party in his hometown of Brooksville last year, is the other Republican who has filed so far.
Three Democrats are running: Tom Doolan, 44, a lawyer from Mascotte; Jim Piccillo, 36, of Lutz, who works as a real estate negotiator and small business consultant; and David Werder, 55, a disabled truck driver from Spring Hill.
The district includes all of Citrus, Hernando, and Sumter and parts of Pasco, Lake, Levy, Marion and Polk counties.
Times researcher Shirl Kennedy contributed to this report. Tony Marrero can be reached at (352) 848-1431 or firstname.lastname@example.org.