Ed Hooper, in his bid to return to Tallahassee, picked up a major endorsement Wednesday from Pasco County Tax Collector Mike Fasano.
Fasano, a former Republican state lawmaker, has been a longtime political force in West Pasco County. Hooper, who served in the House from 2006 to 2014, is running in Senate District 16, covering parts of Pinellas and Pasco counties.
“I know Ed Hooper to be an honest and thoughtful person who cared about how laws effect the people he represents,” Fasano said in a statement. “Hooper has my full support and endorsement for State Senate.”
Hooper seeks to succeed Senate Appropriations Chair Jack Latvala in SD 16. Latvala, a Clearwater Republican, is term-limited from the Senate and now running for Florida governor.
Born in North Carolina, Hooper moved to Clearwater in 1972 and studied fire science and emergency medicine at St. Petersburg College. After 24 years with the Clearwater Fire Department, Hooper was elected to the Clearwater City Council and later served eight years in the Florida House, before retiring in 2014 due to term-limits.
Hooper also brings an extensive civic involvement, including stints on Clearwater Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Pinellas, and the Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee.
In endorsing Hooper, Fasano joins State Sens. Jack Latvala, Jeff Brandes and Dana Young, as well as Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco and former House Speaker Will Weatherford.