Self-funder Jerry Torres jumps into CD 15 field

Jerry Torres
He will launch his campaign with $5M and can bring more to the race.

Veteran Green Beret Jerry Torres will file Monday for Congress in Florida’s 15th Congressional District.

Also an entrepreneur and philanthropist, Torres plans to self-fund his campaign.

“After serving my country for nearly 30 years in the U.S. Army Special Forces, I am passionate about continuing to serve by delivering on commonsense policy solutions for the place I’ve called home since my teenage years,” Torres said.

“The rampant inflation, government overreach and open border policies coming out of Washington are making life harder for our community. I want to put more money back in the pockets of our friends and neighbors and keep our streets safe.”

Running as a “conservative fighter,” Torres will stress his public and private sector experience on the trail. He intends to launch his campaign with $5 million in self-funding, and said he has another $10 million ready to spend.

He founded Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions, which provides services with the Department of State, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, allied nations and several non-governmental organizations. When Torres stepped back from the company, the firm employed nearly 8,600 people around the world and generated nearly $1 billion with $2.5 billion in delivery contracts.

An Army veteran, Torres rose from an enlisted soldier, joining the military while still a teenager, and rose to the rank of Master Sergeant. Of note, he would be the second Green Beret in Congress, along with fellow Florida Republican Michael Waltz.

A press announcement also stressed his family story. The single father raised a daughter, Valeria, on his own after her mother died from cancer.  

As a philanthropist, he has supported disaster recovery efforts, relief missions and environmental expeditions.

CD 15 has no incumbent, and effectively serves as the new district Florida picked up in the 2020 Census. It’s expected to be a battleground in November. About 50.86% of voters in the district backed Republican Donald Trump in the 2020 Presidential Election, compared to 47.74% voted for Democrat Joe Biden, giving it a slight GOP lean.

On the Republican side, he joins a crowded field of candidates for the open seat. Former U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross, a Plant City Republican, affirmed his candidacy for the seat. State Rep. Jackie Toledo, a Tampa Republican, previously announced she’s running. Fellow Army veteran Jay Collins just shifted his candidacy to the district, and Navy veteran Mac McGovern has done the same. Another Polk County candidate, Navy veteran Demetries Grimes, also filed for the seat.

Additionally, state Sen. Kelli Stargel is expected to join the race on Monday. Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee, who announced her resignation effective Monday, is also expected to enter the race.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]



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