Jackie Toledo won’t challenge Laurel Lee to CD 15 rematch
Jacke Toledo leads the money race, but Laurel Lee is closing the gap.

Toledo lee
She at one point said she'd answer Donald Trump's call for a Primary challenge.

Former state Rep. Jackie Toledo will not challenge U.S. Rep. Laurel Lee.

The Tampa Republican backed off a potential run against the GOP incumbent weeks after publicly teasing an entry into the field in Florida’s 15th Congressional District. She considered a run after former President Donald Trump openly called in a Truth Social post for “MAGA Republicans” to challenge Lee.

“After much consideration and prayer, I have decided not to run for Florida’s 15th district,” Toledo posted on X. “I want to thank everyone who reached out to me with words of encouragement and support. While I am not running now, my commitment to America-first values remains unwavering.”

But she also hinted another run for public office may be in her future.

“My fight is far from over, and I will continue working tirelessly until we make America great again!” Toledo added. “As a mom, I know that a mom’s mission is never over, and I will keep fighting for a better future for our children and our country.”

Toledo ran against Lee in 2022 for what was then an open seat in Congress. Lee, a former Florida Secretary of State, won the Republican nomination, later beating Democrat Alan Cohn to secure the seat for Republicans. Toledo came in third in the Primary behind Lee and then-state Sen. Kelli Stargel, a Lakeland Republican.

Trump issued a call for a challenger to Lee after the Congresswoman became the only member of Florida’s congressional delegation to endorse Gov. Ron DeSantis for President over Trump. Lee shifted her endorsement to Trump after DeSantis dropped out of the presidential race.

Toledo immediately posted a picture of herself in a “Trump 2020” cowboy hat and wrote “Great MAGA Republican answering the call and ready to serve” in an X post.

Other Republicans have already filed against Lee. Dade City Republican James Judge, previously a challenger to U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, has now qualified to challenge Lee in CD 15 earlier this week. Plant City Republican Jennifer Barbosa, formerly a California congressional candidate, filed in CD 15 earlier this week. Podcaster Brian Perras has also filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission.

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].


  • Dont Say FLA

    April 25, 2024 at 3:11 pm

    Of course a future run for public office will be in her future. That’s why she licked her finger, stuck it up in the air, and realized she should abandon ship from Trumpzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz derailing train early while it still means something to do that, not just following everybody’s else lead.

  • LexT

    April 26, 2024 at 8:04 am

    Laurel is one of the best advocates for the State of Florida, so I am so glad that she is up their fighting for us!

  • It's Complicated

    April 26, 2024 at 2:14 pm

    Laurel Lee was DeSantis’ Secretary of State for crying out loud. Trump values loyalty, except when it involves being loyal to someone other than him. In Trump’s world, anything less than blind sycophantical loyalty to him is tantamount to betrayal.

  • John Livingston

    May 1, 2024 at 10:32 pm

    A woman who uses people has been figured out and basically told to go to hell by everyone political in Tampa. An adulteress who uses her children as pawns and lives off men like a common prostitute. No different….
    She’s been with a married man for many years and has only been able to maintain her lifestyle because of that. Good riddence to Jackie Toledo!! She will never be elected to any office again.

    • Jack P

      May 9, 2024 at 9:19 am

      Agree 100%
      Jackie is a home wrecker and exploiter.

Comments are closed.


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