Mike Fasano warned them.
On the night of the GOP primary, when Republican Bill Gunter emerged from a primary to face-off against Democrat Amanda Murphy in the special election in House District 36, Fasano warned both candidates to not play fast and loose with his name.
“I would ask them to put the people of Pasco first and not the special interest of Tallahassee and the leadership of their respective party,” said Fasano. “I would also ask they run on their own merits and not use my name in their mailers and/or TV commercials.”
Evidently, the Citizens for Fairness, an electioneering organization closely associated with Republican leaders in the Florida House, did not hear Fasano, Or it chose not to listen.
According to a statement released by Fasano, Citizens for Fairness used his name in a mailing to voters in House District 36. As you can imagine, this did not sit well with a “deeply disappointed” Fasano, who demanded the committee stop using his name to spread “misinformation and untruths.”
Additionally, Fasano said, he expects “Citizens for Fairness to issue a retraction for any comments made using my name.”
Fasano’s message to HD 36 voters, which by a three-to-one margin are more likely to support a candidate endorsed by the former state representative, was clear.
“To any voter who may have received or read this flyer,” Fasano said, “I want you to know that it was sent to you by an organization that is … funded by special interest dollars from Tallahassee. This group does not have the interests of Pasco County at heart. … The allegations it puts in the flyer using my name are untrue and should be discounted by anyone who reads them.”
As for Gunter, his campaign released a statement via campaign spokesman Brian Hughes distancing Gunter from the shadowy politics.
“For this entire campaign, Bill has been focused on his positive vision for getting Pasco back to work and protecting Florida seniors,” said Hughes. “Outside groups, whether attacking Bill or ignoring Mike Fasano’s wishes, are not part of a solution for the challenges the people of Pasco are facing. “