Hillsborough State Attorney Suzy Lopez to raise funds with Nancy and Robert Watkins
Suzy Lopez sworn in. Image via State Attorney's Office.

Lopez has raised more than $288K as of the end of March, and still has well over $200K on hand. She has another nearly $150K left in her political committee.

Suzy Lopez, the State Attorney for the Hillsborough County-based 13th Judicial Circuit, will raise funds Wednesday in Tampa for her election bid to return to the office.

Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed Lopez as State Attorney after he suspended her predecessor, Andrew Warren, citing his refusal to enforce certain laws. Warren had pledged not to enforce Florida’s law banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy — the ban that was under challenge at the time — or laws regarding gender-affirming care.

Now, Lopez is seeking election from voters. Warren is running for the post as well.

Lopez’s fundraiser will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Shutts and Bowen office located at 4301 West Boy Scout Blvd. on the second floor.

The host committee for the event includes Nancy and Robert Watkins, prominent conservative donors who frequently manage campaign finance for candidates. Other hosts include Jeff Aaron, Lydia Atkinson, Charbel Barakat, Alyssa Cory, Ben Gibson, Lee Nelson, Daniel Nordby, Dan O’Keefe and Eliot Peace.

A flier advertising the event reminds that maximum individual donations to Lopez’s campaign are $1,000, but supporters can donate unlimited amounts to her affiliated political committee, Friends of Suzy Lopez.

Warren challenged DeSantis’ removal in a case that is still in limbo. A federal Judge last January ruled that DeSantis violated the Florida Constitution and Warren’s First Amendment rights, but he declined to restore Warren to his post, citing the 11th Amendment to the Constitution limiting federal autonomy over states.

An appeals court this January rebuffed the initial ruling, remanding the case back to the lower court and tasking DeSantis with demonstrating how he would have suspended Warren for issues that didn’t violate Warren’s First Amendment rights. But the lower court has yet to act.

Lopez has raised more than $288,000 as of the end of March, and still has well over $200,000 on hand. She has another nearly $150,000 left in her political committee. Warren has been aggressively trying to catch up, announcing last week that he had raised $100,000 from 350 donors in less than 14 days since jumping into the race.

Lopez has an impressive list of supporters, including U.S. Sen. Rick ScottFlorida Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson, the state Police Benevolent Association and local chapters in Tampa, St. Pete (Suncoast) and West Central Florida, and Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister.

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].


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