By Matt Wiley & Gary Nager
June and July have been busy months for Pasco County Republicans as “Mitt Romney Victory Offices” have opened across the county, Gov. Rick Scott came to assess Tropical Storm Debby damage before speaking at the Pasco County Republican Party’s annual “Reagan Day Dinner” in New Port Richey and U.S. Sen. candidate (and current U.S. Rep.) Connie Mack, IV (R-Ft. Lauderdale), all visited our area.
Wesley Chapel’s ‘Romney Victory Office’ Opens
Hot on the heels of the first two Pasco County “Mitt Romney Victory Office” openings in Hudson and New Port Richey, a third Romney Victory Office has opened, this one on S.R. 56 in front of Sam’s Club.
It was a scalding hot Saturday morning on July 14, but that didn’t stop more than 200 Wesley Chapel-area Republicans from coming out to support the candidate they want to see win the presidency after he accepts his nomination at the upcoming Republican National Convention (RNC) next month in downtown Tampa.
Adorned with small American flags and banners that read, “Defeat Obama Here,” Wesley Chapel Republicans crowded into the small office space amongst the tables lined with telephones and cake to hear several speakers rally supporters and build excitement for the Romney campaign.
“Does anyone remember that Super Bowl commercial with Clint Eastwood when he described that it’s halftime in America?,” asked current Florida House District 61 Rep. Will Weatherford (R–Wesley Chapel) to the fired-up crowd. “I think it’s time for a new quarterback.”
Rep. Weatherford reminded the crowd of the $20-trillion deficit our country is facing and said that this election will be a defining moment for the entire U.S., as well as for Pasco County. “We make a difference,” he said. “And we can make THE difference in this next election.”
Weatherford was followed by Pasco’s Republican Party chair Randy Maggard, who said he hopes to keep the room as packed as it was for the opening each day with volunteers spreading the word of why voters should support Mitt Romney to be our next President. “It’s up to you folks,” Maggard said. “It’s game time.”
After a short ribbon-cutting ceremony, the crowd escaped from the heat to watch Weatherford make the first voter phone call from the new office.
“I asked if he’d be voting Republican,” said Rep. Weatherford. “And he responded, ‘Heck yeah!’”
Other attendees included Wesley Chapel Republican Club president Mike Moore (who also spoke; see below), and several Republican candidates running for re-election in Pasco, including property appraiser Mike Wells, County Commissioner Jack Mariano and two non-partisan candidates, Pasco schools superintendent Linda Fiorentino and current School Board chair Joanne Hurley. “We knew the office opening would be big,” said Moore. “And it was.”
Gov. Scott Attends Reagan Day Dinner
In the wake of Tropical Storm Debby, Florida Governor Rick Scott declared parts of Pasco County a ‘disaster area’ and came to see the damage first hand on June 29. Afterwards, Gov. Scott joined Republicans from across the county as the featured speaker at Pasco’s annual Reagan Day Dinner at Spartan Manor in New Port Richey.
“It was a packed house,” says Wesley Chapel Republican Club president Mike Moore. “There were probably 400 people in attendance..”
Gov. Scott spoke about job growth and how he plans to bring more large corporations to the state. He went on to express his disappointment with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to pass President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA), stating that the Act will kill jobs. He was particularly disappointed with Chief Justice John Roberts, a conservative who was the deciding vote for the controversial law.
Although he didn’t mention it during his speech, following the dinner, Gov. Scott dida Fox-TV News interview with Greta Van Susteren in which he announced that he would not be complying with the ACA.
Also in attendance at the dinner were Rep. Weatherford, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco, nearly the entire Pasco Board of County Commissioners (except for Comm. Ted Schrader, who was out of town) and Pasco property appraiser Mike Wells, among others.
Connie Mack IV Visits WC
A couple of weeks later, Moore’s Wesley Chapel Republican Club hosted current District 14 U.S. Rep. Connie Mack, IV, at a packed fund raiser at Moore’s home in Seven Oaks.
Mack, who is running for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Orlando) and formerly held by his father, Connie Mack, III, said Americans (and Floridians) are “very much engaged in this election” and that he believes both Sen. Nelson and U.S. President Barack Obama to be out of their jobs after the election.
“We need to get back to work and back in charge,” Mack told the sizable crowd. “And we will make it happen!”