Rick Scott backs Suzy Lopez for Hillsborough State Attorney to combat ‘lawlessness and chaos’
Suzy Lopez sworn in. Image via State Attorney's Office.

Scott implied that under Lopez's Democratic predecessor, Florida families were less safe.

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott wants to make sure Hillsborough County doesn’t turn into a liberal city full of “lawlessness and chaos,” and that’s why he said he’s backing Suzy Lopez for Hillsborough County State Attorney.

“Suzy is committed to upholding the law, is a tireless advocate for victims and stands firmly with our law enforcement. The lawlessness and chaos we see in liberal cities like New York, San Francisco and Portland, which is a direct result of Democrats’ soft-on-crime policies, has no place in Florida,” Scott said in his endorsement.

“We must have State Attorneys who enforce the law, and that’s Suzy Lopez. I’m proud to endorse her for State Attorney and look forward to continuing to work with her to keep Florida families safe from crime.”

Lopez, a Republican, has served Florida’s 13th Judicial Circuit in Hillsborough County since last August, when Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed her after removing former State Attorney Andrew Warren, a Democrat.

DeSantis removed Warren after he signed a pledge not to prosecute abortion-related crimes. The former State Attorney challenged his suspension, suing first in federal court. There, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle said DeSantis illegally violated Warren’s First Amendment rights with the suspension, but that federal courts had no authority to reinstate him.

Despite the controversial nature by which Lopez got the job as Hillsborough’s top prosecutor, she has been doing the job for about seven months. Lopez said her Office handles about 50,000 cases each year. She said her focus has been on advocating for crime victims and pursuing justice.

She is a member of the Hillsborough County Bar Association, the Goldberg-Cacciatore and Tampa Bay Inns of Court, the Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers, Hillsborough County Bar Association Professionalism Award Committee and the Gold Shield Foundation. Lopez is on the Executive Council of Safe and Sound Hillsborough and Board Chair for Self Reliance, The Center for Independent Living.

Lopez served as a county Judge before her appointment, and had been appointed to that post in December 2021. She previously worked as an Assistant State Attorney in the 13th Judicial Circuit for 17 years. Before that, Lopez worked as a lawyer at the 2nd District Court of Appeal.

She is Hillsborough County’s first female State Attorney.

“I am deeply grateful and honored to have Senator Scott’s endorsement. Senator Scott is a true friend of law enforcement and a champion for public safety. As State Attorney, I will keep working tirelessly every day to keep Hillsborough safe,” Lopez said of Scott’s endorsement.

Scott’s nod follows an endorsement earlier this month from Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson. Lopez has also earned nods from the state Police Benevolent Association, as well as local chapters in Tampa, St. Pete (Suncoast), and West Central Florida.

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister also backs Lopez.

Warren declined to run for re-election. Democrat Elizabeth Martinez Strauss has filed to challenge Lopez, but she hasn’t posted any campaign finance reports yet. Lopez, meanwhile, has raised more than $200,000 for her bid.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected].


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn