Dennis Baxley endorses Keith Truenow as his preferred successor in Senate

The Ocala Republican can't run again because of term limits.

Sen. Dennis Baxley has a candidate he would like to succeed him in the Senate.

The Ocala Republican is endorsing Rep. Keith Truenow, one of four Republicans filed in Senate District 13.

“I’ve had the privilege and pleasure of serving the people of Florida with Keith Truenow these last four years, and I could not be prouder to endorse him for the District 13 seat I am about to term out of,” Baxley said.

“Keith is a true conservative and has been on the front lines of Florida’s fight with the blue state woke liberals. Whether it was helping pass permitless carry, removing layers of duplicative government, or backing the Governor — Florida is more free because of Keith Truenow.”

Baxley cannot seek another term next year because of term limits that prohibit serving more than eight years consecutively in the Senate. He notably moved to Lake County last year in order to seek a final term in the upper chamber.

The race to fill the SD 13 seat has attracted a crowd already. Truenow, a second term Representative, announced the same day as Clermont City Councilman Ebo Entsuah, who previously worked for Gov. Ron DeSantis in Congress.

Meanwhile, Bowen Kou, founder of a multistate grocery chain, has put $1 million out of pocket into his own campaign, and has already raised more than $100,000 on top of that. CJ Blancett, a retired investigator, also filed for the nomination.

Democrat Stephanie Dukes, who challenged Baxley in 2022, is running to face the winner of the GOP nomination. But it’s a heavily Republican seat; Baxley won more than 62% of the vote in November.

Truenow, a Tavares Republican, expressed gratitude for Baxley’s support.

“Senator Dennis Baxley has tirelessly fought to protect our conservative values,” Truenow said, “and, as a result, Florida is all the better because of it. He has defended our State and Constitutional Rights and I am truly humbled by his support.”

Truenow founded Lake Jem Farms. He also has served on boards for the Turfgrass Producers of Florida, Lake County Farm Bureau and Lake County Fair Association. Before serving in the House, then-Gov. Rick Scott  appointed Truenow to the Harris Chain of Lakes Restoration Council by . His legislative accomplishments include eliminating the Lake County Water Authority.

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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