Rep. Mike Fasano's popularity with his constituents was starting to look like a disadvantage after he announced his interest in becoming Pasco's next tax collector.
Fasano said last week that he would like to replace Mike Olson, who died last month after 32 years in office, prompting numerous emails from residents beseeching him to keep his job in the Florida House.
"We need you up in Tallahassee to be a voice for the people of Pasco County," one email read.
But it appears that the populist legislator has Pasco officialdom behind him.
"Mike Fasano is the ideal candidate for the job with a proven track record of outstanding constituent service and a dedication to Pasco County that is second to none," read a letter to Gov. Rick Scott, who must appoint a successor to Olson. The letter was signed by state Sen. John Legg, state Sen. Wilton Simpson, and House Speaker Will Weatherford. It also included the names of Elections Supervisor Brian Corley, Superintendent Kurt Browning, Clerk of Court Paula O'Neil, Property Appraiser Mike Wells and U.S. Rep Gus Bilirakis.
Sheriff Chris Nocco signed the letter — and wrote one of his own.
"Mike Fasano has been an avid leader in our community whose outlook, strengths, and desire to serve match the needs of a Tax Collector," Nocco wrote.
County Commission Chairman Ted Schrader also wrote to Scott expressing his support.
"He exemplifies the meaning of constituent service through his passion to serve and help those that elected him to represent their interests," Schrader wrote.