Zephyrhills council race off to fast start
Alan Knight isn’t wasting time with his efforts to unseat Zephyrhills City Councilwoman Jodi Wilkeson.
Both Knight and Wilkeson are neck-and-neck in campaign fundraising for the seat Wilkeson has held since 2008, each pulling in around $2,000.
Knight raised half of that in just a single week in March thanks to a $500 check from the Pasco County Council of Firefighters, and smaller donations from Zephyrhills residents, including former longtime city councilwoman Liz Geiger.
During that same first week in March, Wilkeson raised $675, including $250 from Ryman Construction, and another $250 from Lani Rossman, a retired nonprofit executive living in Nashville, Tenn.
Both candidates received $100 donations from current councilman Charles Proctor.
With just weeks before the April 8 election, Wilkeson has raised $2,075 while Knight is just a short distance behind with $2,000. Through March 7, Wilkeson has more cash on hand with about $1,000, while Knight has just over $700.
Ballots heading to Pasco homes
Vote-by-mail ballots for the April 8 election are on their way to homes for those who live within the city limits of Dade City, St. Leo, Zephyrhills, New Port Richey and Port Richey.
To be counted, vote-by-mail ballots must be returned to the election office by mail or hand delivery by 7 p.m. on election day. Mail ballots also can be returned to city halls, but cannot be turned in at the polls.
Those who would like to vote in person before election day can visit their city hall.
For information, call (800) 851-8754, or visit PascoVotes.com.
Political landscape around elevated road leaning negative
Two more candidates seeking to replace Pat Mulieri on the Pasco County Commission have spoken out against the elevated toll road.
Ken Littlefield, a former state representative seeking the Republican nomination for the seat, told a debate audience earlier this month that he was waiting to get more information before deciding whether he would support the project proposed along a 33-mile stretch between U.S. 301 and U.S. 19 on the State Road 54/56 corridor.
However, during a town hall meeting hosted by Commissioner Kathryn Starkey last week, Littlefield announced publicly he was against the toll road.
“If there is one thing I detest, it’s an unsolicited call,” Littlefield said. “I will hang up. Ladies and gentlemen, what I think we need to do on this unsolicited bid is hang up.”
The next day, the lone Democrat seeking the seat so far — Erika Remsberg — said in a comment on LakerLutzNews.com that she was against the proposal as well.
“I opposed a state roadway being a system in which those able to pay more have a ‘fast pass’ option like an amusement park,” Remsberg wrote. “This will impact those of us living and running businesses along (State Road) 54 negatively. I do not support this proposal.”
Bob Robertson, who also is seeking the Republican nod, spoke out against the elevated toll road during a debate earlier this month, while his opponent Mike Moore has yet to take a public position.
Littlefield yet to raise any outside money
Former State Rep. Ken Littlefield jumped into the Pasco County Commission race to replace Pat Mulieri long after his two primary opponents, Mike Moore and Bob Robertson, but he has a long way to go if he wants to catch up to their fundraising.
In his first full month running for office, Littlefield has not received a single donation, according to his campaign finance filings. He’s been working with $1,000, but that’s money he loaned his campaign.
Moore added another $1,650 to his coffers, and despite February being his slowest fundraising month yet, the Wesley Chapel entrepreneur has now raised more than $44,000 since last summer. All but $200 of his donations came from Pasco County.
Robertson pulled in another $600 in February, bringing his total to $10,600. Only one of the donations, for $100, was from someone within his district. The rest came from a water manager in Orlando and an information technologies specialist in Winter Park.
Erika Remberg, the lone Democrat seeking Mulieri’s seat, raised just over $450 over the past few weeks. A little more than $160 was what Remberg herself gave to her campaign, but the rest did come from Pasco County residents.
The Republican primary for the seat is set for Aug. 26, with the general election wrapping up Nov. 4.
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