Voters head to polls to replace embattled former mayor of Port Richey

Pasco County

PORT RICHEY, Fla. (WFLA) – Voters in the City of Port Richey will know their next mayor Tuesday night. The election comes after the former mayor resigned amid controversy. 

Former mayor Dale Massad remains in jail waiting for his trail to begin. He was arrested last February.

The last time the city voted for a mayor in 2015 only 449 people showed up. This year, that number has grown.

“When they say Port Richey they’re just kind of like, ‘oh,'” said Lisa Schultz who lives in town.

Port Richey residents are fed up with their former choice for mayor.

“Pretty embarrassing, really. Like I said, I’m looking forward to getting someone in there that will do the right thing and do a good job for us,” said Michael Tuttle, who also lives in Port Richey.

The little town has become infamous this year across the country. It started when Massad, was arrested, accused of practicing medicine without a license. It was during that early morning raid that police say he fired two shots from a handgun. He was arrested again in March while behind bars along with then acting Mayor Terrence Rowe. Both men accused of conspiracy charges.

“It’s important to me. I feel like our community has such a bad wrap right now and we need someone new to come in and make Port Richey great again,” said Schultz.

At city hall, in a special election, voters turned up to vote for five different candidates. 

“I felt like the guy that was in office wasn’t even close to being the right person. I’m pretty happy that that’s all behind us and we can get on the right track,” said Tuttle.

“You’ll see the repercussions whether it goes the right way or the wrong way,” added Schultz.

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