1. Pasco

Port Richey votes are in: Mayor Scott Tremblay will replace ex-mayor Dale Massad

Scott Tremblay was elected mayor of Port Richey onTuesday night. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]
Published Jun. 18

By ROBERT NAPPER, Times Correspondent

and C.T. BOWEN, Times Staff Writer

Former Pasco County prosecutor Scott Tremblay is the new mayor of Port Richey, winning a tight special election to replace jailed ex-mayor Dale Massad.

It came down to two candidates Tuesday in a five-person race as Tremblay narrowly edged former Port Richey vice mayor Bill Colombo to win Massad's seat.

Tremblay, 42, unofficially beat Colombo by just 8 votes with 156 votes, more than 27 percent of the vote. Colombo received 148 votes, or about 26 percent of the vote.

It is Tremblay's first time running for municipal office. He not only beat Colombo, but soundly defeated City Council member Richard Bloom, who resigned his seat to run for mayor. Bloom received 90 votes, getting nearly 16 percent of the vote. Todd Maklary came in third with 125 votes, and Gregory Smithwick got 46 votes.

Tremblay, who has his own private practice in New Port Richey specializing in criminal defense, personal injury and family law, won an election that featured a solid turnout of more than 29 percent.

"I would define that as a higher than is traditional for a municipality, especially for a special election," said Pasco Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley.

It was a dramatic finish for a city that has seen its share of scandal in recent months. Massad's epic fall from grace made national headlines in February, when the Pasco County Sheriff's Office said that Massad, 68, fired on deputies as they raided his house amid a state investigation authorities say revealed he practiced medicine without a license. Massad, a doctor who lost his license in 1992, has been held without bond since on charges of attempted murder and practicing medicine without a license.

The political landscape at City Hall took another bizarre turn as authorities arrested Terry Rowe, who had left his vice mayor spot to serve as acting mayor following Massad's arrest. Authorities arrested Rowe on charges of conspiring with Massad during a jailhouse phone call against a Port Richey police officer who helped to investigate Massad.

Even with a new mayor, the intrigue over how to make the council whole again is far from over. Rowe was suspended by Gov. Ron DeSantis, but has not resigned. And with Bloom's resignation to run for mayor leaving his seat open, two spots on the five-member council are still vacant.

City Council member Jennie Sorrell said she is glad the voters finally spoke. She is excited over Tremblay's victory, saying that in talking with him she saw a pragmatism and stability that will benefit the city.

"I don't think we can do anything about the massive damage done by Dale Massad or Terry Rowe, but I think we can make people proud to live in Port Richey and have faith in their government again," she said.

Voters will go to the polls for a special election September 10 to fill Bloom's seat, but it remains to be seen how Rowe's seat will be filled.

Maggard wins state House District 38 seat

State legislators first drew east Pasco County its own House of Representatives' seat in 1992. It's never been held by a Democrat.

On Tuesday, voters continued that streak, picking Republican businessman Randy Maggard in a special election to fill the District 38 seat vacated by Danny Burgess, who resigned to become chief of Florida's Department of Veterans Affairs.

Maggard, 55, the former Pasco Republican Party chairman and a member of the Southwest Florida Water Management District governing board, overwhelmed Democrat Kelly Smith 56 percent to 44 percent, with all 41 precincts reporting, according to unofficial returns. Turnout was about 15 percent.

"I just can't thank my supporters enough. It's overwhelming,'' said Maggard. "I hope I keep their trust and I go up there and represent them the way they want me to.''

"There's nothing we could have differently,'' said Smith. "I am really frustrated by the turnout.''

Smith, 44, who moved to Wesley Chapel 10 years ago from Collier County, couldn't overcome the name recognition of Maggard, a native and life-long resident of east Pasco County.

"Of course I voted for Randy, he's my neighbor and he's got more experience. No offense to the lady, I just don't know her,'' said voter Peggy Wilfong, 81, of Zephyrhills.

Even some voters who supported Smith stumbled over her identity. In interviews with a reporter, one referred to her as "Kathy'' Smith and another volunteered she voted "for the girl.''

The GOP brand also resonated with voters in a district where Republicans hold large a registration advantage.

Maggard's campaign emphasized his Pasco roots, support from a litany of elected Republican officials and his small business experience. He is vice president of the family business, Sonny's Discount Appliances in Dade City.

Smith is operations manager for an engineering firm.

District 38 covers all of Pasco, east of Ehren Cutoff in Land O' Lakes and includes Wesley Chapel and the cities of Dade City and Zephyrhills.


  1. Lithia Motors Inc. has acquired three dealerships from the Williams Automotive Group including Wesley Chapel Toyota near the Interstate 75 and State Road 54 interchange in Wesley Chapel. [Times (2007]
    Wesley Chapel Toyota, Wesley Chapel Honda and Tampa Honda dealerships change hands
  2. Left: A burned Ford Taurus, found near Key Vista Nature Park, pictured in the Pasco County Sheriff's Office's forensics building. Right: 21-year-old Michael Psilakis, of Hudson, is accused of killing the unidentified man whose body was found in the car. Pasco County Sheriff's Office
    Michael Psilakis, of Hudson, faces first-degree murder and other charges. The victim has not been identified.
  3. Odessa Elementary School in Pasco County has grown to 1,126 students in fall 2020. Pasco County school district
    At 1,126 students, Odessa is larger than 10 of the district’s 16 middle schools, too.
  4. Members of the VFW Post 8154 honor guard stand at attention during the Veterans Day Remembrance service held Nov. 11 at Zephyr Park in Zephyrhills. Michele Miller
  5. Kasha, Squeeks, Baz and Marshall are up for adoption at Tampa Bay area shelters. Times
    Tampa Bay shelter pets available for adoption
  6. Republicans Dan Tipton, left, and Gary Bradford are seeking the District 4 Pasco County Commission seat expected to be vacated by Commissioner Mike Wells, who is running for Pasco County property appraiser. Tampa Bay Times/Pasco County
    The two Republicans have filed for the seat being vacated by Commissioner Mike Wells Jr.
  7. Pasco County community news TMCCARTY80  |  Tara McCarty
    Pasco County letters to to the editor
  8. The Pasco County School Board meets in August 2019. JEFFREY SOLOCHEK
    Having won a concession relating to rising juniors, some Wesley Chapel families seek more changes to a proposed reassignment plan.
  9. The Mark Anthony Band will perform at Hernando Untapped on Nov. 15 at the Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce will host its signature event from 6 to 10 p.m. Nov. 15 at American Aviation Flight Academy, in the Brooksville Tampa Bay Regional Airport. The craft beer and wine tasting event. Mark Anthony Band
    Things to do in Pasco and Hernando counties
  10. The Grande Oaks development will be just south of this sign, which sits on the eastern boundary of the town of St. Leo on State Road 52. Tampa Bay Times
    Town officials say they don’t want to become like Clermont.