Sen. Kelli Stargel on Wednesday endorsed Rep. Colleen Burton to succeed her in Senate District 22 next year.
“My friend Colleen Burton is a true conservative who has a strong record of fighting for family values, and creating an environment where businesses can prosper and create jobs,” Stargel said. “She’s the right person to represent us in the Florida Senate, and she has my vote!”
Stargel, a Lakeland Republican who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, cannot run for reelection next year because of term limits. Burton is one of two Republicans running for SD 22 this cycle.
“It is an absolute honor to earn the support of my friend, Senator Kelli Stargel, and it would be a privilege for me to follow in her footsteps,” Burton said. “The voters of Polk and Lake Counties can rest-assured, I will protect our family values, stand up for law and order, and help bring opportunity and prosperity to our region.”
Burton currently represents House District 40, which covers part of Polk County. A member of the House leadership team, she has been successful in advancing local priorities through the Legislature and securing funding for her district.
Before she was elected to the House in 2014, Burton served as executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Imperial Symphony Orchestra and Polk Vision. Burton and her husband, Brad, have been married for more than 40 years, and spent nearly 30 of them in Lakeland. They have three children and two grandchildren.
Benny Valentin of St. Cloud is also running for the Republican nomination. Valentin has twice run for House District 42, as a Republican in 2020 and as a Democrat in 2016. Both campaigns were ultimately unsuccessful.
The Primary Election will be held Aug. 23, 2022. The General Election is scheduled for Nov. 8, 2022.