Pasco Republicans will choose county commissioner candidates in August primary

A closed Republican primary will determine which two Republicans will face write-in candidates in November.
“I Voted” stickers on the table for after voting at the Coliseum, 535 4th Ave N, on Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021 in St. Petersburg.
“I Voted” stickers on the table for after voting at the Coliseum, 535 4th Ave N, on Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021 in St. Petersburg. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published Jun. 17, 2022

NEW PORT RICHEY — Pasco County Republicans will make choices in two County Commission races in the August 23 primary. Then in November all Pasco voters will choose between the Republican primary winners and a write-in candidate in each race.

With the closing of qualifying Friday, there were three Republicans seeking the District 2 Pasco commission seat that incumbent Mike Moore decided to vacate. Those candidates are Troy Stevenson, Seth Weightman and Christie Zimmer.

In District 4, Christina Fitzpatrick will seek reelection. She will face previous challenger Gary Bradford and political newcomer Shannon Wittwer.

If no other candidates had entered those races, the primary election would be open to voters of all parties but in recent weeks, a write-in candidate joined each race — Louie Rodriguez in District 2 and Cory Patterson in District 4. That closes the primary election to just Republicans.

Weightman has been endorsed by Moore and several other prominent Republicans in the District 2 race. His uncle is Thomas Weightman, who served as Pasco school superintendent, and his aunt is Jean Larkin Weightman, who served as a Pasco School Board member. A municipal services manager for waste-hauling company Republic Services, he serves on several public boards including the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

Stevenson is a 20-year resident of Pasco County and owns Acme on the Go, a fleet of electronic sign message trucks. Stevenson has been on the board of directors of the Wesley Chapel Rotary Club and the North Tampa Chamber of Commerce. He is also a first responder for National Disaster Medical Services and has worked with numerous charitable organizations including Big Brothers & Big Sisters and the Lions Club.

Zimmer is the daughter of Bonnie Zimmer, who served both on the Pasco County Commission and the Pasco School Board. She has served as chairperson and and member of the Citizens Advisory Committee of the Metropolitan Planning Organization. A past president of the East Pasco Association of Realtors and the Central Pasco Association of Realtors, her website touts her interest in being a stalwart for homeowner property rights.

In District 4, Fitzpatrick, the incumbent, is principal and administrator for Miracles Schools, a Pasco school for special needs students. Fitzpatrick has a bachelors degree in business administration from the University of South Florida, has been a resident of the area for 30 years and has been involved in numerous community service organizations over the years. She cites her work as a commissioner to help create new jobs and support for the Ridge Road Extension.

Bradford is a retired Tampa police officer. He operates the Bradford Group, a government relations firm that advocates for first responders. In Tallahassee he has also served as part of the lobbying team for the Florida Police Benevolent Association. He and his wife, Deborah, have lived in Land O’ Lakes for more than 20 years. His platform includes support for public safety initiatives and smart growth for the county.

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Wittwer joined the race after being a part of the community movement to stop an apartment complex on Tanglewood Drive at Ridge Road that the County Commission approved. A seven-year resident of Pasco, she runs a construction remediation business and has focused on a platform of returning the commission to representative government so that all residents can be heard.