A PASCO COUNTY VACANCY IS EXPECTED THIS WEEK in Florida House District 38 when Republican Danny Burgess gets confirmed to lead the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Democrats have a real opportunity to flip the seat Democratic Blue.
The Pasco Democratic Party is very happy to announce that Wesley Chapel Democrat Kathy Lewis, just off her race for the Florida Senate District 20 seat, has filed paperwork to run for the seat which covers all of Pasco County east of Ehren Cutoff in Land O’ Lakes and includes Wesley Chapel plus the cities of Zephyrhills, Dade City, San Antonio and St. Leo.
In a January 4 article in Friday’s Tampa Bay Times, Pasco Democratic Party Chair John Ford recognized Kathy Lewis’ achievements in the November general election when she garnered nearly 88,000 votes, winning 52 percent of the Hillsborough vote and 43.4 percent of the Pasco vote. As a first time candidate, she overcame the advantage held by a long-term incumbent: “In Pasco, without much of a ground game, she accumulated 43 percent of the vote. A pretty nice number, and I think she can make up the difference. I think the people on the east side recognize a quality candidate,” said Ford.
Lewis, 57, a writer and motivational speaker, is a native of Baltimore and moved to Wesley Chapel 10 years ago. She said last fall that her Senate candidacy was motivated by her difficult, but eventually successful quest to obtain Medicaid benefits for her disabled daughter. During her Senate campaign, Lewis said she wanted to raise the minimum wage, close the gun show loophole on background checks for gun buyers and accept federal Medicaid expansion dollars. She said her platform will remain the same for the House race.
According to the Pasco Supervisor of Elections, there are 41 precincts in the district, with just over 112,000 registered voters: 43,442 Republicans, 36,395 Democrats and 32,500 affiliated with neither major party. The special election will likely be held in early March so the seat isn’t vacant for the entire legislative session that begins March 5 and is scheduled to conclude May 3.
The southeastern Pasco district has been in Republican control since being redrawn ahead of the 2012 election cycle. We are looking forward to flipping it to Democratic Blue in this special election. Let’s get to work!