PORT RICHEY — State Rep. John Legg plans to run again in 2012 — this time for the state Senate seat now held by fellow Republican Mike Fasano.
Legg, R-Port Richey, filed papers Wednesday with the state Division of Elections to run for the District 11 senate seat in 2012. Fasano, a longtime ally, must step down next year due to term limits.
Legg, 35, who serves as speaker pro tempore of the House, said Thursday that he is "beginning the process of looking at the state Senate."
He is the first to file papers to run for that seat, which currently encompasses north Pinellas and coastal Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties.
Legg emphasized that redistricting in the upcoming session could change the boundaries of that Senate district but that he wanted to "put our hat in the ring" before other candidates began lining up.
"The bottom line is we're interested in the seat," he said.
Filing for office also allows Legg to begin raising campaign cash.
"I did not roll anything out in a dramatic fashion because of redistricting," said Legg, who will be term limited out of the House in 2012.
Legg said he had spent the last two days calling local people in the community. "I had a lot of support," he said.
One of them was Fasano, a New Port Richey Republican.
"John came to visit with me the other day and told me what his intentions were, and I said, 'Outstanding,' " Fasano said. "I expected him to run for this Senate seat. Of course, he has my full support."
Fasano resigned from a Senate redistricting committee this week, saying he may run for another office and wanted to avoid the perception that he would help draw a new district to his liking. He says he may run in 2012 for an office that might be redrawn in the process, which could include a state House seat or congressional seat.
Legg, 35, who is married with children, has two homes: a Port Richey home that is in his House district and a home in Longleaf that is not. Those living arrangements became a campaign issue when he ran for re-election in 2008. Some Democrats questioned whether he was spending more time at the two-bedroom home in his House district 46 or his wife's four-bedroom home in Longleaf.
Legg married Suzanne in 2007, and she had the Longleaf home. He said Thursday that he and his wife split their time between both homes and hope to sell them when the real estate market improves.
Both of those houses are currently in Fasano's Senate district.
Jodie Tillman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 869-6247.