Incoming House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, has endorsed his colleague in the Florida House, John Legg, in his bid a Tampa-area Senate seat.
Legg, R-Port Richey, will square off against current state Senator Jim Norman, R-Tampa, and Rob Wallace, a Republican and former board member of Citizens Property Insurance. John Korsak, a Republican, is also running in the primary for Senate district 17.
Calling Legg the "true conservative" in the race, Weatherford said Legg has a track record of fighting to create jobs and hold government accountable.
“John is a fighter for improving education and has the know-how to make sure the families in our local communities and across the state are given more choices and every opportunity to excel in and out of the classroom. I support John, the true conservative for Senate District 17,” said Weatherford, in a statement.
Last month, Legg switched races to square off against the incumbent Norman, who was part of a bloc of independent Republicans that often voted against bills pushed by leadership and the governor.
Earlier this month, Legg announced several endorsements for his campaign, including:
Sen. Mike Fasano (R-New Port Richey), Rep. Richard Corcoran (R-New Port Richey), Rep. Robert C. “Rob” Schenck (R-Spring Hill), Pasco County Commissioner Ann Hildebrand, Pasco County Commissioner Pat Mulieri, Pasco County Commissioner Jack Mariano and Pasco County Property Appraiser Mike Wells, Allen Altman.
But Norman could benefit by receiving the endorsement from Senate leaders and his party, which tend to lend support incumbents.
Read the full text of Weatherford's statement below:
Speaker Designate Will Weatherford Endorses Republican John Legg
New Port Richey, Fla. – After officially qualifying by petition with more than 1,576 valid signatures from district supporters, Republican Candidate John Legg today announced that Florida House Speaker Designate Will Weatherford has endorsed him in his bid for Senate District 17. Speaker Designate Weatherford is yet another Pasco/Hillsborough leader to come out in support of Legg.
“I stand behind John Legg in his Senate race,” said Speaker Designate Weatherford. “I have had the privilege of working alongside John in the Florida House, and know he has the steadfast commitment to ensure our economy grows, we continue to create jobs and we hold government accountable.”
“John is a fighter for improving education and has the know-how to make sure the families in our local communities and across the state are given more choices and every opportunity to excel in and out of the classroom. I support John, the true conservative for Senate District 17,” concluded Speaker Designate Weatherford.
“I am honored to receive Speaker Designate Weatherford’s endorsement,” said Legg. “I am without a doubt committed to ensuring our local communities have a voice in Tallahassee. It is essential that we continue to raise our academic standards here in Florida and look to expand STEM to create new and innovative jobs for our future generations. As a father of five with administrator and educator experience, I know I am the man for the job and am excited to have Speaker Designate Weatherford on my side!”
Florida Senate District 17 includes parts of South Pasco and Northwest Hillsborough Counties. Legg has been endorsed by Senator Mike Fasano (R-New Port Richey), Representative Richard Corcoran (R-New Port Richey), Representative Robert C. “Rob” Schenck (R-Spring Hill), Pasco County Commissioner Ann Hildebrand, Pasco County Commissioner Pat Mulieri, Pasco County Commissioner Jack Mariano, Pasco County Property Appraiser Mike Wells, Allen Altman and Cynthia Armstrong of the Pasco County School Board and Mayor Steve Van Gordon, City of Zephyrhills.
Elected in 2004 and subsequently reelected, John Legg is currently a member of the Florida House of Representatives, serving his constituents from Pasco County with pride. From his experience in the Florida House as Chairman of the K-12 Education Committee, Deputy Majority Whip and Speaker Pro-Tempore, Legg has gained expertise in a broad spectrum of issues that are important in our state. Previously, Legg has served as a member of the Republican Executive Committee, West Pasco Republican Club Board, Bayonet Point Hospital Board of Trustees, Chairman of Creation Foundation, and countless other community and Republican groups in the West Florida region. Legg and his wife, Suzanne, are founders of Dayspring Academy, one the most successful and respected educational institutions in Florida. Legg graduated high school at the early age of 15 and worked several jobs while obtaining his associate's degree from Pasco Hernando Community College, and his bachelor's and master's degree in Public Administration from the University of South Florida. Legg currently lives in Pasco County with his wife, Suzanne, and their five children, who are active in their West Pasco church.