Newly sworn-in District 2 Pasco County Commissioner Seth Weightman has taken over for Mike Moore in the district that includes much of Wesley Chapel. (Photo by Charmaine George). 

For the first time in eight years, Wesley Chapel’s District 2 has a new Pasco County Commissioner.

While Ron Oakley remains on the Pasco Board of Commissioners (BOC) for District 1, which covers the northern part of Wesley Chapel, newcomer Seth Weightman takes over for Mike Moore in District 2, which includes the rest of Wesley Chapel (and parts of Land O’Lakes).

Weightman was sworn in on Nov. 20 at the Dade City Courthouse.

“I’m looking forward to getting started,” he says. “I have big shoes to fill.”

Married to Jessica and the father of two children, Weightman may be a first-time commissioner but he has deep roots and connections in the county.

“I’m a born-and-bred Pasco guy,” says Weightman, whose great uncle Thomas is the former Pasco Superintendent of Schools for whom Weightman Middle School was named. “My family has been here a long time. I’ve seen all the changes over the years. Knowing the county’s history and being involved in the community for so long, I think I have a really good understanding of the identity of Pasco County.”

Moore, who recently announced he was joining The Southern Group, Florida’s largest lobbying firm, served two terms in District 2, during a time when Wesley Chapel experienced unprecedented growth and change. He spearheaded efforts to speed up construction of the diverging diamond interchange at S.R. 56 and I-75 and the Overpass Rd. interchange, championed parks and recreation projects (including a new indoor recreation center and a universal abilities park at Wesley Chapel District Park), put a focus on public safety, worked to make this area the crown jewel of the county’s sports tourism efforts and took a pro-business stance when it came to development.

Weightman says he plans to pick up where Moore left off.

“I hope to kind of follow Mike’s same path,” Weightman says. “We think very similarly, and  have very similar values. We’re both business-minded and family men. Mike’s done a terrific job in representing Pasco County the last eight years. He set the bar high. I’m competitive, and I know I have work to do, and want to do it as well as he did, if not better.”

Weightman says he has been receiving a crash course in being a county commissioner the past few months, and is eager to start working on some of the goals for his first term.

While he may be new to the county commission, Weightman is far from a political neophyte. 

He has served on the Southwest Florida Water Management District (aka Swiftmud) Board, after being appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis in November 2019, and is on the Boards of the Pasco-Hernando State College Foundation and the AdventHealth Foundation.

He also has worked as an aide to former Florida Speaker of the House Will Weatherford, and has a number of strong relationships with Republicans around the state. He says that experience will benefit the county when it comes to negotiating for state funds.

“What the county has done really well is work well with our state delegation, and it has been able to receive a significant amount of road and infrastructure funding,” Weightman says. 

“That’s been a huge feather in the county’s cap. I have built strong relationships, not just with the Pasco delegation but those in the Florida House and Florida Senate. Those are genuine friendships and working relationships that will be a benefit to me as a commissioner when it comes to advocating for the county.”

Weightman will inherit some projects that are already under way. During his term, big developments like Downtown Avalon Park and the Wiregrass Ranch Town Center will unfold, while the Epperson area continues to boom. 

And, while many of the major road projects that began with Moore as commissioner are winding down, the widening of Old Pasco Rd. is only in the early stages.

“When Seth comes in, that’ll be one of the things we wanna make sure that he stays on,” Moore says. “It’s definitely very important for that area, especially with the schools that are there and the new (Overpass Rd.) interchange that’s there.”

With development, however, comes displacement, and not every area resident is enthralled by the growth. 

Weightman, 35, says that as a Pasco native who grew up in the area long before homes and businesses had spread, he understands there needs to be a balance.

“That’s the elephant in the room,” he says. “How do we do this? What’s the happy medium?”

Weightman says that while he is pro-business, he also is a big proponent of the county’s Environmental Lands Acquisition and Management Program (ELAMP), which was created in 2004 and is responsible for purchasing environmentally sensitive lands to protect them.

Moore was the first person to endorse Weightman when he announced his plans to run for the District 2 seat earlier this year. Weightman held off primary challenges from Christie Zimmer and Troy Stevenson, effectively winning the seat.

Now, Moore thinks his replacement is ready to be a great county commissioner.

“I have all the confidence in the world in Seth,” Moore says. “He understands constituent service. It’s what he did for Will Weatherford, and he understands government. He sat on the (Swiftmud) board so he’s already a policy maker, and he actually cut taxes while on that board. I know he will do well on the county commission.”

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