Businessman Dennis Cooley has filed to run for Florida House District 70; whose redrawn borders could provide parts of Hillsborough and Manatee counties with a new state Representative.
The Ellenton insurance consultant filed to run on Jan. 12. His goal: “to keep Florida free.”
“Gov. (Ron) DeSantis has made Florida the envy of the nation, and I want to keep it that way,” Cooley said in a statement. “Our state’s leaders have led with courage and conservatism throughout this pandemic, and the results speak for themselves. Florida is a nationwide leader in economic growth, education innovation, infrastructure investments, and environmental restoration. We can continue this record of results by electing local, conservative leaders who will stay the course in the face of an out-of-control Federal Government that seeks to undermine Florida’s success daily.
“I will be that voice to stand in the breach between hardworking, freedom-loving Floridians and the dysfunction in Washington, D.C.”
Born in Bradenton, Cooley developed a payroll software interface in 2000 that, according to a press note from his campaign, has since processed billions of dollars in payroll transactions.
He now runs Bridgely Key Options, an insurance company that helps businesses and employees navigate insurance issues.
Cooley is also the publisher of the Manatee Herald — which he recently described as “still a startup up news and media site” — as well as a member of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce and a graduate and alumni board member of the chamber’s leadership program, Leadership Manatee.
He serves on the Hundred Club of Manatee County, which supports law enforcement agencies.
His Twitter account describes him as a professional employer for 30 years. He’s also a pilot and a married father of four.
Cooley is currently listed on the Division of Elections website as the only Republican in a five-way HD 70 race that includes incumbent Democratic Rep. Michele Rayner.