Erika Booth announces campaign for HD 35

Erika Booth
The Republican won a seat on the Osceola Co. School Board in August.

Osceola County School Board member Erika Booth wants a seat in the House. The St. Cloud Republican announced she will run in the Special Election to succeed Rep. Fred Hawkins.

“I’ve dedicated the last 20 years of my life to educating our children. Most importantly as a parent and also as a classroom teacher,” Booth said. “As I began my service on the School Board, I have realized the issues facing educators, parents and our students cannot simply be solved locally and so, today, I have decided to run for State Representative.”

Importantly, Booth also secured early support from state Rep. Daniel Perez, the Miami Republican in line for House Speaker presuming the GOP maintains control of the Chamber.

“The Florida House Republican Campaign Committee is proud to endorse and fully support Erika Booth for the Special Election in HD 35,” Perez said. “Erika is a proven leader, a dedicated educator, committed to volunteering in her community and has deep roots in Central Florida. I am proud to endorse Erika and have the House Republican Caucus stand behind her.”

Booth won her School Board seat just last year, winning the open Seat 5 post with more than 54% of the vote in August, according to Positively Osceola.

But the opportunity to run for a House post arose when South Florida State College voted to hire Hawkins as its new President.

Booth aligned herself with Gov. Ron DeSantis and the parental rights movement that has elevated organizations like Moms For Liberty to the political forefront.

“Gov. DeSantis and this Legislature have made great strides in protecting students, giving greater control to parents and placing Florida at the forefront of innovation when it comes to classroom education — but the job is far from over,” Booth said.

“For half a century, the Left has embedded themselves in our entire education establishment and it will take time and focus to root them out. Florida is now the beacon on the hill President (Ronald) Reagan spoke of. I will work day and night to keep that beacon lit and freedom alive here in the great state of Florida.”

Booth is the third Republican to enter the field. Former Navy Commander Demetries Grimes filed in May and former congressional candidate Scotty Moore announced this week.

Before her election to the School Board, Booth worked in education, and in 2014 was named Harmony Community School’s Teacher of the Year.

She also worked as a project manager for Youth Leadership Osceola and Project OPEN, and has been involved in civic groups including Florida Farm Bureau, Bookmark Buddies Mentor Program, Silver Spurs Riding Club and the PEO Philanthropic Organization.

She is notably married to Osceola County Commissioner Ricky Booth, who won election locally in 2020.

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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