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Mike Fasano, John Legg Hoping to Swap Seats in Florida Senate, House

April 2, 2012 - 6:00pm

Termed-limited state Sen. Mike Fasano will run for a House seat vacated by another termed-out lawmaker, who in turn is running for Fasano's seat in the Senate.

Fasano, R-New Port Richey, filed for the newly created House District 36 seat. The district, encompassing large portions of West Pasco County, is currently represented by outgoing Rep. John Legg.

Legg, R-New Port Richey, previously announced for the new Senate District 18, which incorporates much of Fasano's current District 11.

Fasano served in the House from 1994-2002, but Florida's term-limit law does not prevent him from returning to that chamber.

In the Senate this session, Fasano became a focal point of opposition to one of the top priorities of Senate President Mike Haridopolos: a plan to privatize prisons in South Florida.

Leading the effort to halt the bill, Fasano likened it to a bailout for private correctional companies on par with the federal governments bailout of Wall Street and the auto industry.

"I think a clear message was sent ... that we do not want to privatize public safety, Fasano said after the Feb. 21 vote. We do not want to turn over a half-billion (dollars) of taxpayer paid-for correctional facilities to two corporations and let them earn money on the backs of taxpayers.

Fasanos opposition to the privatization cost him seats on two budget committees, including one chairmanship post.

He also clashed with Sen. J.D. Alexander, R-Lake Wales, over Alexander's plan to make the USF Polytechnic campus in Polk County into a separate university.

Despite the opposition of Fasano and other senators, however, Alexander's plan is moving ahead.

Contact Kenric Ward at or at (772) 801-5341. Joe Saunders contributed to this report.

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