Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Crist endorses Democrat Murphy, Fasano says he voted for her

Former Gov. Charlie Crist joins Democrat Amanda Murphy, candidate for House District 36, at the lectern. On Thursday, Crist endorsed Murphy and former state Rep. Mike Fasano disclosed that he voted for her using an absentee ballot.


Former Gov. Charlie Crist joins Democrat Amanda Murphy, candidate for House District 36, at the lectern. On Thursday, Crist endorsed Murphy and former state Rep. Mike Fasano disclosed that he voted for her using an absentee ballot.

PORT RICHEY — The campaign for House District 36 in west Pasco took a few twists Thursday starting with an endorsement by former Gov. Charlie Crist and ending with the disclosure by former state Rep. Mike Fasano that he voted this week for Democrat Amanda Murphy.

"It's all about Amanda, and in 12 days she will be elected as state representative," Crist told 60 or so Murphy supporters at a campaign rally Thursday at the Jasmine Lakes community center.

"In 12 days we will have someone return to Tallahassee who cares about people first, just like Mike Fasano did and still does," said Crist, a former Republican.

Murphy said she met Crist years ago at a campaign event. Murphy is running for the House District 36 seat vacated by Fasano when he was appointed Pasco's tax collector in August.

She's making her first run at political office. Her opponent, Bill Gunter, a Presbyterian minister, is making his second bid, having lost in last year's Republican primary to Pasco County Commissioner Jack Mariano.

With less than two weeks until the Oct. 15 election, both candidates are ramping up efforts to reach voters and appeal to party leaders for support.

Over the past week, Murphy unveiled a laundry list of endorsements, including from some prominent Republicans. Gunter struck back late Tuesday, announcing he had been endorsed by U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.

Throughout it all, Fasano stayed mum.

A Republican with broad bi-partisan appeal, Fasano vowed during the campaign to not endorse any candidate.

He said he wanted a representative in Tallahassee who would fight special interests and cross party lines if necessary to help Pasco residents.

"It's not about the party. It's about the person," he said.

But by late Thursday afternoon Fasano's silence had ended. He said he voted for Murphy on Monday or Tuesday using an absentee ballot.

"Bill Gunter is a fine gentleman and a great guy, but I have a great deal of concern that if he's elected he will just follow the party line," Fasano said.

"I think Amanda Murphy will be someone who will support the uninsured and under-insured in Pasco County. There are 90,000 people in Pasco County who don't have access to primary care either because they have no insurance or they are under-insured," he said.

Fasano stopped short of publicly endorsing Murphy, saying, "This was my own personal vote."

His disclosure came after a Murphy campaign mailer taking aim at Gunter started arriving in mailboxes Thursday.

The mailer described Gunter as puppet of Gov. Rick Scott, with the line, "Our former state Senator, Mike Fasano, refused to support fellow Republican Gunter. Why? Because he'll be just another vote for Rick Scott's extreme agenda."

News about the flier set off speculation about how Fasano would react.

A couple days earlier, he was irked when a mailer attacking Murphy hit west Pasco mailboxes. The mailer made reference to Fasano despite his insistence after last month's primary that his name not be used in campaign literature.

But by Thursday after the Murphy mailer arrived Fasano had cooled off, saying there wasn't much he could do to prevent either side from referring to him.

"I guess neither side is listening to me," he said, laughing.

He added later, "I have said this before and will say it again, take everything you get in the mail with a grain of salt."

Crist endorses Democrat Murphy, Fasano says he voted for her 10/03/13 [Last modified: Thursday, October 3, 2013 10:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Observations from a liberal, gay, Latino, feminist Florida House freshman


    State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando,  rocked the Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus dinner at Tallahassee's Hotel Duval Satursday night with his unabashedly liberal and passionate take on the myriad issues he said are key to LGBTQ Floridians. Among them: Access to guns, Reproductive rights, home …

    Carlos G. Smith
  2. Delta Sigma Theta honors outgoing national president

    Human Interest

    During her four years as national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Paulette Walker said she always focused on the comma between "Sorority" and "Inc."

    Paulette Walker, the former director of undergraduate programs and internship in the College of Education at the University of South Florida, will be honored on Saturday for her leadership in the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.
  3. 10 sailors missing, 5 hurt in collision of USS John S. McCain

    SEOUL —Ten U.S. Navy sailors are missing and five have been injured after the USS John S. McCain destroyer collided with an oil tanker near Singapore early Monday morning.

    In this Jan. 22, 2017, photo provided by U.S. Navy, the USS John S. McCain patrols in the South China Sea while supporting security efforts in the region. The guided-missile destroyer collided with a merchant ship on Monday, Aug. 21, in waters east of Singapore and the Straits of Malacca. Ten sailors were missing, and five were injured, the Navy said. [James Vazquez/U.S. Navy via AP]
  4. Pasco County Fire Rescue fighting a two-alarm fire started by an explosion


    Two houses are on fire and one victim has been critically burned and taken to a trauma center following an explosion at a home at 8652 Velvet Dr, in Port Richey.

  5. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.