Big get: Will Weatherford backs Rebecca Smith in HD 60

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

In a Republican primary in a state House race in Tampa Bay, a handful of endorsements matter more than others.

Were incoming House Speaker Richard Corcoran to offer an endorsement or one of the region’s Repbulican U.S. Representatives or state Senators, that would really count for something.

The same can be said of an endorsement from former House Speaker Will Weatherford. Earning his support is what’s known as a “big get.”

And that’s what Rebecca Smith has today — a big get.

Smith’s campaign announced Thursday morning that Weatherford is lining up behind her bid for House District 60.

“Rebecca Smith has a proven track record as a business leader and as an active member of our community,” said Weatherford. “Rebecca’s strong commitment to our shared, conservative principles of lower taxes, less government, more freedom and personal responsibility are just what we need from our elected officials. … I hope you will join me in supporting Rebecca Smith for State Representative, District 60.”

Smith is the founder and president of A.D. Morgan Corporation in Tampa, a company she founded in 1989. She is also a member of the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority, and announced her candidacy for the seat in March. Smith faces engineer Jackie Toledo in the August primary to replace Rep. Dana Young, who is running for the state Senate. Democrat David Singer is also running.

Weatherford’s endorsement is likely to generate further support for Smith, especially within his broad network of contacts.

In her release, Smith recognizes the importance of Weatherford’s endorsement.

“Speaker Weatherford placed principles before politics, resulting in the passage of good public policy that provided real, tangible solutions for Floridians and their families,” said Smith. “I am thankful for Speaker Weatherford’s service and for the example he set, and am grateful for his support and endorsement.”

Weatherford’s announcement follows the previous endorsements of former Governor Bob Martinez and the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), Florida Gulf Coast Chapter.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.