A Villager has filed paperwork indicating he will challenge state Rep. Brett Hage in 2022.
Ashok Marwah of the Village of Belvedere said he promised himself he would not get involved in politics five years ago when he moved to Florida’s Friendliest Hometown.
“I was glad to see that there was a rebellion and all three incumbent county commissioners were defeated. Our new county commissioners tried to undo this 25 percent tax increase. They imposed a 70 percent increase in impact fees on the Developer for new construction in order to reduce our taxes. This increase in impact fees represented the true cost of development to Sumter County. The Developer, with the help of our own Representative Brett Hage changed the Florida State Law under HB337 to limit the impact fee increase to 12.5 percent this year,” Marwah said.
The tipping point came when it was revealed that Hage was drawing a $350,000 annual salary from The Villages.
“My opponent does not represent the interests of the voters who put him in office. He represents the interests of the Developer who paid him $350,000 in 2021. It is time to remove Brett Hage from office and that is why I am running for state representative in District 33,” Marwah said.
The civil structural engineer is running as a Democrat and would face the Oxford Republican in November 2022. Marwah’s campaign treasurer is Villager Mamie Melvin, who unsuccessfully attempted to unseat Hage in 2020.
Florida House District 33 includes all of Sumter County as well as Lady Lake and Fruitland Park in Lake County. It also includes a small southern slice of Marion County, south of Belleview. You can see a copy of the district map at this link: HD_33
In the Nov. 6, 2018 general election, Hage defeated Democrat Oren Miller, taking 69.5 percent of the vote. Miller, a Villager, later successfully ran as a Republican for the Sumter County Commission.