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.