Mike Wells Jr. has a name that is quite familiar to Pasco County residents, thanks to his father, longtime property appraiser Mike Wells Sr.
And now the younger Wells wants to make a name of his own by challenging Pasco County Commissioner Henry Wilson in the Republican primary. In making the announcement, Wells doesn’t share a lot about his platform, except that he knows being a commissioner “demands hard work as well as leadership skills attuned to citizens’ needs.”
“With the blessing of my family and friends, I am committing myself to do all that is necessary to run a positive and informative campaign,” Wells said, in a release. “For most of my life, I have seen government at work. I am now ready to participate in the democratic process by doing what it takes to earn the job of representing the citizens of District 4.”
Wells will have to start by raising money, and lots of it. Wilson, who was first elected in 2010, already has a running start with more than $17,000 raised and at least $16,000 in the bank, according to election records, through the end of February. Wilson’s biggest month was in January when he hauled in $8,735, at least half of it coming from builders and developers.
Wells’ father served on the county commission himself in the 1980s and was elected the county’s property appraiser in 1996. As a commissioner, the older Wells, among other things, was a leader in creating the county’s public library system, and was a major proponent of getting Pasco County Public Transportation underway, creating mass transit options for county residents.
The younger Wells said he’s been active in political campaigns since he was 12, and has worked in both sales and management for Enterprise Rent-A-Car for 17 years.
The other active county commission race is for the seat currently held by the retiring Pat Mulieri. At this point, three Republicans and one Democrat are looking to replace Mulieri, and have all raised a combined $56,000 in that race so far.
Primary elections are set for Aug. 26.