Polk Sheriff Grady Judd endorses Kelli Stargel in crowded CD 15 GOP Primary
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 4/20/22-Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, Wednesday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

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'When our men and women in uniform needed her most, Kelli stood up to the defund the police movement.'

State Sen. Kelli Stargel, a Lakeland Republican running in a crowded GOP Primary in Florida’s 15th Congressional District, has snagged the endorsement of Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

“I am proud to stand with Kelli Stargel because she is the proven conservative who is the best qualified and most experienced legislatively to represent us in Congress,” Judd said in a statement released by Stargel’s campaign.

“When our men and women in uniform needed her most, Kelli stood up to the defund the police movement and had our backs to ensure Florida’s communities remained safe. Kelli has consistently delivered for law enforcement, for hardworking families and for our values.”

Judd is a popular figure in Polk whose endorsement could hold some weight in a five-way GOP Primary, but District 15 only covers a sliver of Polk from west of State Road 98. The rest of the district includes eastern Hillsborough County and southeast Pasco County.

In fact, just 15% of the district’s voting age population lives in Polk, according to 2020 U.S. Census figures, while 66% live in Hillsborough and 19% live in Pasco.

Stargel’s opponents in the GOP Primary are state Rep. Jackie Toledo of Tampa, former Secretary of State Laurel Lee, and U.S. Navy veterans Kevin McGovern and Demetries Grimes.

A poll in the race earlier this month, first reported by POLITICO, showed Stargel with 13% support among likely voters, with Lee and Toledo garnering 10% each, and 58% undecided.

At the start of July, Lee led the pack in campaign resources with $487,000 cash on hand, while Stargel brought up the rear with $254,000 in her campaign coffers.

The Democratic Primary is crowded as well, featuring five candidates: Gavin Brown, Alan Cohn, Eddie Geller, Cesar Ramirez and William VanHorn.

The district slightly favors Republicans, as former President Donald Trump won the district 50.9% to 47.7% over President Joe Biden in the 2020 election.

Gray Rohrer


2 comments

  • Joe Corsin

    July 28, 2022 at 3:19 pm

    Vote RED for far right police state and religious law
    Vote RED for 10 consecutive life sentences for DUI
    Vote RED for drone strikes on protesters and illegal wiretapping

  • Elliott Offen

    July 28, 2022 at 6:06 pm

    Never heard of the greasy greasy….

Comments are closed.


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