Jerry Torres shifts candidacy to challenge Kathy Castor in CD 14
Jerry Torres will now run in CD 14.

Torres horizontal
But he now faces an uphill climb in a Democrat-leaning district.

Veteran and entrepreneur Jerry Torres will shift his campaign for Congress to the west. The Lakeland Republican now plans to challenge U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, a Tampa Democrat seeking her ninth term in Congress.

“I am running to get our country back on the right track, and the best way to do that is flipping a seat currently held by a Democrat who supports the administration’s failing policies,” Torres said.

“Though I have changed districts, the principles of my campaign remain the same: Put a stop to the inflationary recklessness in Washington, secure our border, uphold the rule of law, bring a vision of unity to the many races and ethnicities in our community, and protect the freedoms that make this country great.”

Torres last month announced he would run in Florida’s 15th Congressional District, where he was part of a crowded Republican field running for an open seat. He leaves the race a day after former U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross also bowed out. That still leaves six significant Republican candidates, including former Secretary of State Laurel Lee, state Sen. Kelli Stargel, state Rep. Jackie Toledo and veterans Jay Collins, Demetries Grimes and Mac McGovern.

Now running in Florida’s 14th Congressional District, Torres still faces a Republican Primary. James Judge, the only Republican in that race reporting any fundraising, recently picked up the endorsement of former U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, a Gainesville Republican.

Torres arrives in the GOP Primary with finances behind him. The former Green Beret developed personal wealth after founding Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions, which he sold in 2019.

“I built my career as a champion for this country,” Torres said. “Now, I’m running to be a champion for Floridians who are fed up with Democrats making their lives harder.”

But whoever wins the nod in CD 14 faces an enormous uphill climb against Castor. Under a new map signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, the seat leans heavily Democratic and covers downtown Tampa and St. Petersburg. About 58.8% of voters in the district as newly configured voted for Democrat Joe Biden in the 2020 Presidential Election, and just 39.72% favored Republican Donald Trump.

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]


One comment

  • Charlotte Greenbarg

    June 8, 2022 at 2:11 pm

    Thankful that I’m finally out of Castor’s district! Her office would never answer communications. If she weren’t Betty Castor’s daughter she never would’ve been elected. She just follows the far left directions

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