Governor schedules Special Election to fill Senate seat vacated by Tom Lee
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 10/15/19-Sen. Tom Lee, R-Thonotosassa, speaks during the designation ceremony for incoming Senate President Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, Tuesday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

Lee stepped down from his Senate seat last week.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has set the date for a Special Election to fill the Senate District 20 seat being vacated by Sen. Tom Lee.

Lee’s term had been set to expire in 2022.

That Special Election will run concurrent with Florida’s already scheduled elections this year. The Special Primary Election for SD 20 will be on Aug. 18 alongside other primaries throughout the state. The winners will then face off in the general election on Nov. 3.

Lee announced last week he is stepping down from his Senate seat.

“It has been the greatest honor of my career serving as a Senator for a total of 18 years and most recently representing the citizens of District 20,” Lee announced.

“I cannot thank them enough for their unwavering support and trusting me to stand up for their interests in Tallahassee.”

As Florida Politics reported, the Thonotosassa Republican is considering a run for Hillsborough County Clerk of the Court. While no final decision has been made on that front, Lee said he would prefer such a position over continuing his Senate service.

“I learned to govern in a different era, and, for whatever reason, the legislative process has changed,” Lee explained after his resignation.

“Simply put, the Florida Senate just isn’t the best fit for me at this time in my life. For a while, I thought I might get a chance to reform the process, but that wasn’t in the cards.”

Senate GOP leadership has backed Danny Burgess to replace Lee in SD 20. Earlier Monday, Burgess resigned from his post as Executive Director of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and signaled a Senate run is imminent.

“I will remain an advocate for veterans — from the battlefield, to their homecoming and beyond,” Burgess wrote in his resignation letter.

“At this time, I believe I can best continue to serve my country, my state, and my brothers and sisters in arms as a member of the Florida Senate.”

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected]


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