State Attorney, Public Defender back Tom Leek for SD 7
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 3/7/24-Rep. Tom Leek, R-Ormond Beach, gives his farewell remarks, Thursday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

Leek continues building support for his Senate run.

Rep. Tom Leek’s campaign for Senate District 7 announced endorsements from State Attorney R.J. Larizza and Public Defender Matthew Metz, both of Florida’s 7th Judicial Circuit.

Larizza previously worked in the Florida Department of Corrections, then as an Assistant State Attorney and pursued a private practice career before successfully running for State Attorney. Metz was felony division chief over the 7th Judicial Circuit before being elected Public Defender in 2020.

“I am proud to support Tom Leek in his bid for state Senate. He recognizes the complex needs of the state of Florida, including maintaining law and order and a firm, trustworthy criminal justice system, and his leadership in the Florida Legislature has already proven he has a unique understanding of the responsibility that comes with public office — and it is a responsibility he bears well,” Larizza said. 

Metz added, “It has been a privilege to work with Rep. Tom Leek, representing Volusia County these last eight years, and I strongly support his campaign to continue his dedicated service in the state Senate. Tom Leek is a man who defends liberty, upholds constitutional rights, and strives to represent his constituents well and I know will continue to exemplify these characteristics through his continued service in the Florida Legislature.”

Leek thanked both men for their endorsements, which came shortly after his campaign earned support from all four Sheriffs within the four-county SD 7.

Leek was first elected to the House in 2016 and has risen up the ranks in the chamber, including serving as the Chair of the House Redistricting Committee in the 2022 Session and as the House Budget Chief under Speaker Paul Renner.

He currently represents part of Volusia County in House District 28 and is running to succeed Sen. Travis Hutson in SD 7. Hutson is term-limited and has already endorsed Leek in the Republican Primary, where he faces Gerry James.

Democrat George Hill II and no-party candidate Michael Gist are also running, though SD 7 is a solidly red district where DeSantis won re-election with nearly 70% of the vote two years ago.

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.


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