“Pasco County School Board member Kathryn Starkey is the most qualified among three Republicans seeking the House District 45 seat, currently held by term-limited Rep. Tom Anderson, R-Dunedin. The outcome of this primary will all but decide the race for the west Pasco and North Pinellas seat. No Democrat has filed to run, but a write-in candidate for the general election in November closed this primary to only GOP voters. Starkey would be an effective legislator with broad ties to the district as a homeowner, businesswoman and local elected official.
Starkey’s influence is obvious across Pasco County. More than a decade ago, she championed improved aesthetics via a billboard ban and then founded Scenic Pasco, a group that lobbied for county ordinances to control commercial sign clutter, enhance landscapes and set architectural guidelines for commercial developments.
She then turned her attention to education. Six years ago, voters elected her to the Pasco School Board where she emerged as a leading advocate for developing career academies in local high schools to better prepare students to enter the working world.
Richard Corcoran, 45, of New Port Richey, is a political insider with no elected office on his resume or strong record of service to the community. Fabian Calvo, 32, of Clearwater, is a businessman whose companies buy and manage apartment complexes.
Neither can match Starkey’s commitment to bettering public education nor have they demonstrated an ability to work in a bipartisan, consensus-building manner that has been Starkey’s trademark.
In the Republican primary for House District 45, the Times recommends Kathryn Starkey.