Gus Bilirakis endorses Laurel Lee in CD 15 contest
Gus Bilirakis.

'Laurel has served her community as a prosecutor and then as a judge, before serving the state of Florida as Secretary of State.'

U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis is offering his support to Laurel Lee’s bid for Congress. The Palm Harbor Republican endorsed Lee in Florida’s 15th Congressional District.

“I am pleased to endorse Laurel Lee and encourage all voters in CD 15 to join me in supporting her,” Bilirakis said. “Laurel has served her community as a prosecutor and then as a judge, before serving the state of Florida as Secretary of State. She knows what it takes to be a leader and be a Representative and voice of a community, and I know she is the right choice for CD 15.”

Lee embraced the support of the seven-term Congressman.

“Congressman Bilirakis has represented our surrounding community for years and has served with honesty and civility,” Lee said. “I have long admired his integrity and all he has done for our region; he has been a tremendous public servant. I am honored to have his endorsement.”

Lee recently secured the Republican nomination in CD 15 in a five-person GOP race and now faces Democrat Alan Cohn.

It’s no big surprise that Bilirakis wants a Republican winning the open seat, widely considered Florida’s new congressional seat awarded based on 2020 Census data.

But his support carries particular weight in the Tampa Bay region. He first won election to Congress in 2008 but served Tampa Bay in the Florida Legislature for years before in the state House and Senate. And before winning his seat in Congress, the area was represented in Washington by his father, Mike Bilirakis, from 1983 to 2007.

It’s also notable for Bilirakis to weigh in considering the Democrat in the mix. Cohn has run on his background covering politics as a broadcast journalist, and has frequently cited working with Bilirakis’ Office on a change to a federal law regarding treatment of veterans.

The new CD 15 covers portions of west Hillsborough County, along with east Polk County and south Pasco County.

Lee picked up a number of endorsements this week including law enforcement backing from the Tampa Police Benevolent Association and West Central Florida Police Benevolent Association. She served as Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Secretary of State through most of the Governor’s first term, and before that served as a circuit court judge in Hillsborough County.

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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