Land O’ Lakes business owner and banker Ardian Zika is the latest Republican to file to run for the Pasco County state House seat being vacated by term-limited Richard Corcoran.
The 37-year-old Zika was born in the former Yugoslavia and emigrated to the U.S. from Kosovo in 1997.
“I’m the product of American exceptionalism and I, like you, am working tirelessly in pursuit of the American Dream,” said Zika in a statement released Tuesday.
“Our campaign puts Floridians First so each one has an opportunity to reach the American Dream through upward economic mobility,” he says. “I’ll champion bold and visionary ideas to unleash the American entrepreneurial spirit of innovation and transform our community. As your State Representative, I’ll fight for lower taxes, less regulation and more personal responsibility and to protect our constitutional rights.’
Zika has spent the past 14 years in the banking industry before starting up his own business advisory company, Guardian & Company I, earlier this year.
He’s a known quantity in GOP circles, having been appointed by Governor Rick Scott to the Florida Council on Homelessness, the Pasco Hernando State College Board of Trustees and the CareerSource Florida Board of Directors in recent years.
In 2015, Zika was named by the Tampa Bay Business Journal as a “40 under 40 Up and Comer.”
After immigrating to the U.S. twenty years ago, Zika moved to Louisiana and attended Louisiana Tech University, where he received a B.S. in marketing. He also became very involved politically there, as he was elected to the student senate, served as student government executive vice-president, student senate president, student government supreme Court chief Justice and Vice President of the College Republican Club.
He later received a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Saint Leo University.
Zika and his wife, Tasha, have five children and are active members of Idlewild Baptist Church.
He is now the fourth Republican to enter the race, along with George Agovino, Bill Gunter and Elle Rudisill. Pasco County Commissioner Kathryn Starkey is also reportedly contemplating a run in HD 37.