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Pasco voters return Wells to property appraiser's office

Published:   |   Updated: May 16, 2013 at 08:56 PM

Pasco voters returned Mike Wells for a fifth term as property appraiser.

Wells, a Republican, defeated Democrat Allison Newlon with 67 percent of the vote.

"The real rewards of public office are friendships that I am so blessed to have," Wells said. "It's flattering to me that two-thirds of the people in the county think I'm doing a good job."

Newlon, who is married to San Antonio Mayor Tim Newlon, painted Wells as complacent after he told a TV reporter he rarely spends 40-hours per week in the office. But the accusation failed to cause much damage to Wells' reputation as a trusted public servant who runs an efficient, if not model, office.

"I have assembled an extraordinary staff that has helped me move this office into the technology age," Wells said.

Wells also assembled an extraordinary war chest, raising $99,800 for his reelection – ten times more than Newlon.

Since taking office, Wells has reduced his staff by 30 percent and is even in the process of returning office space in New Port Richey to the Board of County Commissioners. Earlier this year he introduced a new online system for homeowners to apply for homestead exemption, and Wells said he will expand the service for other exemptions and classifications in the future.

Wells, who lives in Dade City, served as a county commissioner from 1984-92. He was first elected property appraiser in 1996. The property appraiser earns a salary of $137,796. (813)371-1852 Twitter: @lkinslerTrib


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