Will Weatherford Shows No Signs of Leaving Political Stage Despite Being Term-Limited
Around the State
Even though he faces term limits in November, Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, shows no signs of heading to the sidelines as he continues to support Republicans in congressional and legislative races across the Sunshine State. Only 34, Weatherford is expected to be a future candidate for higher office.
In Weatherford’s latest move, he announced on Wednesday he was backing Florida House candidate Blaise Ingoglia’s bid to replace term-limited Rep. Rob Schenck, R-Spring Hill.
"Blaise Ingoglia's commitment to conservative principles, his energy and passion, and his willingness to serve others are qualities we need in our elected officials,” Weatherford said. “Blaise Ingoglia is a man of strong character and integrity, and his open, honest and direct style is refreshing. Blaise's strong commitment to principle will guide him as he seeks to represent the people of Hernando County in our state capitol. I am honored to support and endorse Blaise Ingoglia in his campaign.”
Weatherford is the 22nd legislator to back Ingoglia who served as vice chairman of the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF). Like many of the legislative candidates Weatherford has backed in the 2014 election cycle, including Republican Danny Burgess who is running for Weatherford’s seat, and former Rep. Shawn Harrison, Ingoglia is not facing any opposition from within the GOP ranks.
But Weatherford also waded into one of the most high-profile Republican congressional primaries in Florida last month, refusing to back a former colleague.
Despite having served with former U.S. Rep. David Rivera, R-Fla., in the Florida House, Weatherford is backing Miami-Dade School Board member Carlos Curbelo for the Republican nomination to challenge U.S. Rep. Joe Garica, D-Fla.
"I am happy to endorse Carlos Curbelo for Congress,” Weatherford said in the middle of June when he offered his endorsement. “He represents the new generation of conservative leaders in our party that recognize America’s challenges must be met with fresh new ideas. He is a proven fighter for our children’s education, a champion for economic freedom and will bring a servant’s heart to Washington to represent Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. I look forward to supporting Carlos’ campaign this year as he articulates a bold vision for America.”
“I am honored to have the support of Speaker Weatherford,” Curbelo said. “Florida has benefited from his special brand of leadership and integrity: providing a clear vision, debating the issues honestly and openly, never fearing a great idea no matter the origin, and to always do the right thing for our state. With Speaker Will Weatherford’s endorsement of our campaign, we continue the momentum to achieve victory in August and November.”
Weatherford has also been active at the local level. Last week, he announced he was backing Rick Cochran, who served in the Air Force and as a detective in Tampa, in his bid to serve on the Hillsborough County Commission. Weatherford might be headed out of the Florida House but he shows no signs of leaving the political stage.
Reach Kevin Derby at email@example.com.