BROOKSVILLE — A second Republican has prefiled paperwork to run next year for the District 3 seat on the Hernando County Commission.
John J. Lelio, a New York native, is a retired veteran, having served both in the Navy and the Air Force. He also worked for General Electric and was working at Cape Kennedy when the Apollo 1 tragedy happened in 1967. He went on to write a book, A Tragedy Made to Order, about his experience as a spacecraft simulator technician when that incident took place.
Lelio, 83, came to Florida in 1956 and spent a number of years in Largo. During his time there, he established a chapter of United We Stand America, supporting the presidential candidacy of Ross Perot. Lelio came to Hernando County in 1990 and ran a nursery off Sunshine Grove Road.
Lelio said he wants to run for the commission because he is interested in political issues, especially about Hernando residents who are on fixed incomes and who must deal with higher taxes such as the recently approved half-cent sales tax for the schools. He noted that the schools should instead be using money from the state lottery.
The District 3 seat on the commission is currently held by the sole Democrat on the board, Diane Rowden. She is expected to seek re-election but has not yet announced her intention. John Allocco has also prefiled to run as a Republican for the seat.