Stopping short of a full endorsement, Pasco County Tax Collector and political godfather Mike Fasano announced late Thursday that he voted for Democrat Amanda Murphy in the special election to fill the seat Fasano recently occupied.
“I believe Amanda will be the best person to represent the district,” Fasano said. “I personally believe she will help the little guy and gal.”
Fasano’s signal of support for Murphy came at the end of a lively day in the race between Murphy and Republican Bill Gunter.
Former Governor Charlie Crist began the day by endorsing Murphy at a well-attended rally.
“We’ll send a message in just 12 days that will be heard all over the state of Florida,” Crist told a group of supporters. “And it starts with this wonderful, fantastic candidate and future representative.”
Later in the day, Fasano swatted away questions about a mailer paid for by the Florida Democratic Party which invoked his name — something he specifically asked both candidates not to do.
Fasano had complained earlier this week about a mailer from Citizens for Fairness, an electioneering communication organization aligned with Republican legislative leadership, that used his name in an attack on Murphy. After this blog reported that the FDP paid for the direct mail piece attacking Gunter, Fasano told the Tampa Tribune he did not object to his name being used.
“At least we know who paid for it,” Fasano told the Tribune. “With those third party ads, there’s no way to find out where the money came from.”
On Friday, Democratic Senator Bill Nelson, who has already endorsed Murphy, is expected to join her at an event in Holiday.