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U.S. Rep. Nugent endorses Simpson in state Senate race

U.S. Rep. Rich Nugent has endorsed state Senate candidate Wilt Simpson, who stands to face state Rep. John Legg in an expensive Pasco-Hernando race this year.

While the endorsement addresses a race for the Legislature, it's latest chapter in a feud that also involves competing ambitions for Congress. Legg is an ally of state Sen. Mike Fasano, who was aggravated when then-Congresswoman Ginny Brown-Waite handpicked then Hernando Sheriff Nugent to be her successor in 2010. Fasano has eyes on running for Congress, possibly against Nugent. Fasano, not surprisingly, has endorsed Legg.

But Simpson, well-known Pasco businessman whose company employees include incoming Speaker Will Weatherford, has collected an array of support, including Attorney General Pam Bondi.

"Wilton Simpson is a proven leader who believes in limited government, lower taxes, and in creating opportunity for all Floridians," Nugent said in a new release Monday. "Simpson is a dedicated, hard-working small business owner who will use his experience to bring jobs and prosperity back to the Sunshine State."