John Korsak, one of three primary challengers to state Sen. Jim Norman, issued a statement today saying rumors that Norman is bowing out of the race indicate backroom dealings in Tallahassee and possibly an attempt by legislative leaders to ease the way for a particular candidate.
Korsak's statement indicates that he is ready to battle for the Republican nomination in District 17 and takes a shot at state Rep. John Legg, who last month announced he was also running for that seat instead of District 18.
"... People should know that Senator Norman’s decision does not automatically bless any one candidate with a nomination," Korsak wrote. "If Jim Norman is to be held accountable for his actions, then John Legg must also answer for his own questionable ethics and political shenanigans."
Legg announced last month that he had changed his mind and would run against Norman so that he wouldn't have to uproot his family. He has faced questions about whether his lives in the Port Richey home on his voter registration (in his old Senate district) or in his wife's home in Trinity (in Norman's district). Former state Rep. Rob Wallace is also running in the District 17 Republican primary.
Here is Korsak’s full statement:
John Korsak’s Statement on Senate District 17 Developments
With the widely publicized rumor that Senator Jim Norman is abandoning his bid for reelection, my campaign has been inundated with inquiries about how this development affects our campaign. In short – it doesn’t.
In January, I determined that we – the constituents of District 17 – needed a viable choice on the ballot, and I remain committed to that goal.
Over the past several days it has become clear that Tallahassee, acting against tradition, has inserted its power into a primary election to craft its desired outcome. Tallahassee will not dictate our representation; and I will see to it that we have an election in District 17, not a coronation.
I commend Senator Norman for his service to Hillsborough County over the years; and wish him well as he focuses on new opportunities to serve our community. However, the people should know that Senator Norman’s decision does not automatically bless any one candidate with a nomination. If Jim Norman is to be held accountable for his actions, then John Legg must also answer for his own questionable ethics and political shenanigans.
As the electorate, it is unfortunate that we are forced into continuous distraction from today’s real problems that require real solutions. But it is imperative that we remain fully informed on who our candidates are, what they really stand for, and most important – how they display their core values.
We have 9 weeks until the August 14 primary. In that time, we will continue to bring our positive message of constitutional government to the people. I believe that the number one job of the state legislature is to guard against intrusive federal policies that undermine the state’s authority, and bankrupt the state’s treasury. As state legislators, we must preserve and protect freedom and liberty for our people, and allow public policy to be decided at the lowest jurisdictional level possible.
Thomas Jefferson’s assessment was clear, and remains true today – government is best which is closest to the people. If that remains our focus, then natural solutions will emerge for most of today’s economic, regulatory, education, and tax and spending problems.