GOP Senate Leadership Backs Tom Lee Over Rachel Burgin
The Republican leadership in the Florida Senate rallied behind former Senate President Tom Lee on Thursday as he seeks to return to Tallahassee. Lee faces Rep. Rachel Burgin, R-Tampa, in the Republican primary on Aug. 14 for the seat currently held by Sen. Ronda Storms, R-Brandon, who is running for Hillsborough County property appraiser.
Lee unveiled the support of Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, and Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, on Thursday. Thrasher previously served as the speaker of the Florida House and the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF). Negron is generating some buzz as a future president of the Senate. Lee has been backed by some of the other members of the Senate leadership including incoming Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, Majority Leader Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, and Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, who has also garnered buzz as a contender for the Senate presidency down the road.
"Tom Lee has given the people of eastern Hillsborough County a clear, truthful reminder of the kind of leader he was when he led the Florida Senate," said Gaetz on Thursday. "He's run an exemplary and relentlessly positive campaign focused on the issues and truthful to his record on cutting taxes and reforming government.
"We need Tom Lee's dedication and commitment to honorable public service in Tallahassee now more than ever,” Gaetz added. “And that's why I'm happy to reiterate my unequivocal endorsement of Tom, and why I'm so glad that my partners in leadership are on board in support of Tom as well."