Bill Conerly files to succeed Tommy Gregory in HD 72
Bil Conerly. Image via LinkedIn

Bill Conerly
He's the second Republican to file for the open seat.

A Lakewood Ranch businessman became the latest to jump into the race to succeed Rep. Tommy Gregory.

Bill Conerly has filed to run in House District 72. A shareholder with engineering consulting firm Kimley-Horn, the professional engineer plans to run on an “America First” agenda. And he promised to bring change to the House.

“Florida is at a crossroads. We can continue to kick the can down the road, year after year, on issues like immigration, insurance and our quality of life or we can act. I am running to take quick action, just like President (Donald) Trump,” Conerly said.

“The politicians in Tallahassee should be on notice: I won’t be making excuses or empty promises on insurance rates, I will be lowering them come hell or highwater. Floridians can’t and shouldn’t be struggling to pay insurance premiums. That must change, starting now.”

He’s the second candidate to file so far for the seat, Manatee County School Board member Rich Tatem already announced for the seat.

Several other candidates are considering a run, according to Manatee County political sources, including former Manatee County Commissioner Vanessa Baugh, former prosecutor Lisa Chittaro and AG Creative founder Alyssa Gay.

Conerly’s agenda includes a hard line on immigration, a stance he takes as Florida officials brace for a possible influx of refugees from Haiti.

“Florida needs to secure its beaches, just like Texas is securing its border with Mexico,” Conerly said. “Floridians want their local law enforcement to act, as (President) Joe Biden’s federal government sits idly by. Giving local law enforcement the means to deport illegal aliens and cutting off funding for taxpayer programs that benefit illegals are among my top priorities.”

Conerly has lived in Manatee County since age 15.

The Navy veteran served as a shipboard electrician on the USS La Salle and left the Navy as an EM2.

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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