Monday, June 8, 2009

Sarasota official announces for Florida House District 67

Marie Nisco

The race to replace state Rep. Ron Reagan in the Florida House is now a quartet.

Marie Nisco, a member of the Sarasota County Charter Review Board since 2000, has filed to run in House District 67, which is comprised of parts of Manatee, Sarasota, and Hillsborough counties.

She joins fellow Republican candidates Jeremiah J. Guccione of Sarasota; Robert K. McCann of Lakewood Ranch; and Greg Steube of Bradenton. Reagan, R-Bradenton, cannot run because of term limits.

If elected, Nisco, 67, said one of her priorities would be stamp out illegal immigration in Florida by instituting an "E-verify" system she said would help speed up checks on whether prospective employees are eligible to work in the United States.

Illegal immigrants, she said, take jobs away from Americans.

"If there are no jobs for illegals ... they will go home themselves," Nisco said. "They won't have to be deported."

Other priorities, Nisco said, would include stopping human trafficking and domestic violence and improving food safety.

Nisco, a retired mental health care consultant, briefly ran for the District 67 seat in the 2008 campaign. She said she dropped out because of a problem in gathering petition signatures to have her named placed on the ballot. She was unwilling, she said, to pay a filing fee.

Nisco said her plan all along was to try again in 2010.

Unlike the three other candidates, Nisco does have electoral experience. She has three times been elected countywide to the board that reviews and recommends changes to the Sarasota County charter.

How that success will translate to the House 67 race is uncertain. Only 11 of the district's 85 precincts are in Sarasota, with the bulk of the voters - 56 precincts worth - living in Manatee, home base for Steube, who holds large leads in fund-raising, endorsements and name recognition. (Steube is the son of Manatee Sheriff Brad Steube.)

Nisco pointed out, accurately, that fund-raising and endorsements will not determine who ends up in Tallahassee for next year's legislative session.

"If you don't have the votes, you're not going to win," she said.

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