Another Democrat lines up for CD 15 race

carlson background

Lakeland attorney Kristen Carlson has entered the Democratic primary for Florida’s 15th Congressional District.

Carlson, 64, is a former General Counsel for the Florida Department of Citrus and still counsel of record for the Florida Citrus Processors Association and District 1 of the Florida Department of Transportation.

She is a partner with the firm of Macfarlane Ferguson & McMullen headquartered in Tampa. She is a past president of the Polk Museum of Art and serves on the board of the Lakeland Boys and Girls Club for 12 years.

“Basically, I am running because of the unchecked hyper-partisanship in the House and Senate and the presidency, too. It doesn’t allow anyone to remain in the middle, to compromise and to think things through,” Carlson said.

She describes herself as a moderate.

“I am liberal on social issues, but I am a fiscal conservative,” she said. “I am not partisan. I look at candidates and policies (not ideologies) before making decisions.”

Bringing order to the federal government is crucial to the nation, she said Thursday.

With Friday as the last day of qualifying for the federal ballot, three Democrats and five Republicans have qualified to run for the 15th Congressional District being vacated by Dennis Ross, a Lakeland Republican.

Bill Rufty

Former Ledger of Lakeland columnist Bill Rufty is Central Florida political correspondent for SaintPetersBlog and Florida Politics. Rufty had been with the Ledger from 1985-2015, where, as political editor, he covered a wide range of beats, including local and state politics, the Lakeland City Commission, and the Florida Legislature. Ledger editor Lenore Devore said about Rufty’s 30-year career: “[He is] a man full of knowledge, a polling expert and a war history buff … who has a steel trap in his brain, remembering details most of us have long since forgotten.”


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