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The Villages
Thursday, September 28, 2023

Attorney in The Villages to run against ‘hopelessly compromised’ Rep. Hage

Andrew Curtis

An attorney in The Villages has announced his intent to run against “hopelessly compromised” state Rep. Brett Hage.

Attorney Andrew Curtis, a resident of the Village of Mallory Square and a supervisor on the Community Development District 6 board, has announced his intention to run in the Republican Primary in August. 

“I am running because while I am a big fan of The Villages, and admire all that the Developer of The Villages has accomplished, our current state representative in Tallahassee, in the opinion of many, is unduly representing the business interests of the Developer of The Villages, to the detriment of the residents of the district,” Curtis said.

He pointed to the 2019 tax increase of 25 percent in Sumter County as one of the primary reasons he has decided to run for the District 33 House of Representatives seat.

State Rep. Brett Hage, left, walks with Villages Vice President of Community Relations Gary Lester, center, and Gov. Ron DeSantis during an event in 2021 in The Villages.

“In the 2020 elections, the voters of Sumter County rose up in righteous anger over this huge and unexpected tax increase, and voted out the three Sumter County Commissioners who had enacted that tax increase, in a landslide victory,” Curtis said.

When the commissioners followed through on their promise to raise impact fees, Hage went to work to undo their accomplishment.

“Our currently serving state representative, selling out his own constituents, did an end run around the new Sumter County Commission, and actually got a state law passed in Tallahassee that an impact fee could not be raised by more than 12 and a half percent in any year. In effect, our current representative gave away the store, by enacting an impact fee that was 2/3 less than the 40 percent increase in the impact fee that the Developer himself had only recently offered to pay! Incredibly, the new law was made retroactive, thereby wiping out the increase in the impact fee that the Sumter County Commission had just enacted, and thereby making it impossible to roll back the infamous 25 percent property tax increase,” Curtis said.  

It was after this that it came to light that Hage was earning $350,000 per year working for The Villages.

“I am a graduate of Georgetown Law School. Back in my law school days, we were taught that we should avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest,” Curtis said.

Curtis faced uphill election odds in his 2018 race for the CDD 6 board when he took on fellow Villager Pat Francis, widow of former Sumter County Commissioner Mike Francis. In that race, Pat Francis accepted $2,000 in campaign contributions from the Developer, while Curtis self-funded his campaign. She spent most of the money advertising in The  Villages Daily Sun. Curtis collected 3,950 votes to Francis’ 2,751 votes.

Villager Ashok Marwah has also filed to run in District 33. He is running as a Democrat and would face the winner of the Republican.

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