Keith Truenow announces Senate bid to succeed Dennis Baxley

Keith Truenow
The Tavares Representative has already landed support from Taylor Yarkosky.

Rep. Keith Truenow, a Tavares Republican, is filing to succeed Sen. Dennis Baxley in Senate District 13. He already has the endorsement of Rep. Taylor Yarkosky, a Montverde Republican.

Truenow’s entry into the race was first reported by Florida Politics.

Truenow was first elected to the House in 2020. He won a Republican Primary against Steven Novakovic and later defeated Democrat Crissy Stile in the General Election. In November 2022, he coasted to re-election over Democrat Linda Kero. This term, Truenow chairs the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee.

The two-term lawmaker boasts a 100% voting record with Gov. Ron DeSantis, and his legislative accomplishments include eliminating the Lake County Water Authority.

Locally, Truenow is known for founding Lake Jem Farms in Mount Dora.

Yarkosky’s endorsement signals he won’t face the fellow Lake County resident in a Republican Primary. The two are the only sitting House members representing Lake County, the bulk of the district, and living in SD 13.

“There is no one better for this seat than my colleague and friend Rep. (Keith Truenow)!” Yarkosky tweeted shortly after news broke of Truenow’s candidacy.

“Keith exemplifies daily what it means to be a true and selfless public servant, ALL to the benefit of Lake County and Central Florida! I am honored to give you my endorsement and FULL support Mr. Chairman!”

Baxley, an Ocala Republican, currently holds the title of Senate President Pro Tempore. He has served in the Senate since 2016 and cannot seek another term due to term limits.

Redistricting last year forced a move to Lake County to avoid a Primary with Sen. Keith Perry, a Gainesville Republican.

Baxley also served two stints in the House, first from 2000 to 2007 and later from 2010 to 2016. He previously served as Belleview Mayor.

Truenow already filed for a House run and has raised $21,000. Baxley’s impending departure from the Senate is prompting Truenow to take a shot at a promotion to the upper chamber despite being allowed to serve two more two-year terms.

Earlier this month, Republican CJ Blancett and Bowen Cou also filed for the seat. Clermont City Councilman Ebo Entsuah also just announced his candidacy. Democrat Stephanie Dukes filed in November.

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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