$1,000,000 could be spent on race to replace Fasano

6:53 PM, Oct 15, 2013   |    comments
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Sen. Mike Fasano
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New Port Richey, Florida -- Of course, Democrat Amanda Murphy and Republican Bill Gunter both want to win tonight, but both also understand a win for them would be huge for their own political parties.

"That should give us momentum going into the 2014 election cycle. It gives us 45 seats and we haven't held that in I think they said 12 years. So it's a big deal," Murphy told 10 News.

The special election for House District 36 was called after Republican Mike Fasano was appointed by the governor to take over as Pasco County's Tax Collector.

The race then took an interesting turn when Fasano announced he was endorsing Murphy, not his fellow Republican -- a move that Gunter admitted on Tuesday stunned him.

"Am I disappointed? I wouldn't call it disappointment. Surprised, yeah, surprised but at the same time you'd have to ask him the question why he did that," Gunter said.

Combined, Gunter and Murphy are expected to spend about a million dollars. The massive amount of money underscores the interest each party has in winning House District 36.

So too does the list of politicians that made an endorsement, including Democrats Charlie Crist and Bill Nelson and Republicans Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush.

Seen by some as a Republican county, President Obama carried Pasco last year. So what happens on Tuesday could be a big catalyst for either party.

"It will be a very big moral boast for Democrats who are hoping to pick up some more legislative seats next election cycle," said USF Professor of Political Science Dr. Susan MacManus.

"Republicans if they win will probably spin it ... that this was about the party and not about an individual, Mike Fasano, and if anything they will probably claim that part of their victory would come from the fact that Fasano like Crist has turned his back on the party and endorsed the other side."

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