Joe Gruters wants Tom Leek serving alongside him in the Senate
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 3/7/24-Rep. Tom Leek, R-Ormond Beach, gives his farewell remarks, Thursday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

The pair this year will serve as Donald Trump delegates at the Republican National Convention.

State Sen. Joe Gruters wants Tom Leek serving with him in the Florida Senate.

The Sarasota Republican formally endorsed Leek in the Senate District 7 race to succeed state Sen. Travis Hutson.

“Today I am pleased to endorse Tom Leek for the State Senate,” Gruters said. “I worked with Tom when we were first elected in 2016 to the Florida House, the year when we also campaigned for Donald J. Trump for President. Tom Leek and I will proudly serve as Trump delegates at the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee next month, and we will work together as conservative leaders in the Senate next year and beyond.”

Gruters and Leek both first won election to the Legislature in the same class of Florida House Representatives. Gruters ultimately ran in a Special Election for Senate after a single House term. Gruters isn’t up for election this cycle, and has already filed to run for Chief Financial Officer in 2026.

The Senator also served four years as Chair of the Republican Party of Florida, and was elected this year as Florida’s Republican National Committeeman.

Leek welcomed the support from his former House colleague.

“Thank you to my friend Joe Gruters for his endorsement of my candidacy for the State Senate,” Leek said. “His commitment to conservative principles and values is what makes his support invaluable, and I look forward to joining him at the RNC Convention as we nominate Donald J. Trump for President.”

The endorsement came the same day that The Truth Matters political committee promoted Republican David Shoar, another candidate running in SD 7, as a Trump-supporting ex-Sheriff. Notably, that committee is chaired by Eric Robinson, Gruters’ partner at the Venice accounting firm Robinson, Gruters & Roberts. When the committee started running ads attacking Leek, Gruters made clear he had no involvement with the committee.

Professional wrestler Gerry James is also running in the GOP Primary.

Additionally, Leek has the support of Gov. Ron DeSantis, the Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, every sitting Sheriff in SD 7 and U.S. Reps. Michael Waltz and Cory Mills.

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].

One comment

  • Charlie Lundberg

    June 13, 2024 at 7:01 pm

    Leek and Gruters are both liberals. Gruters was one of the most vehement pro-LGBT mafia members of the legislature.
    Everything in the ads exposing Leek is true, and DeSantis doesn’t even know who Leek is.
    If DeSanctimonious does end up endorsing Leek, it will prove he was a RINO all along too.
    Leek voted for gun control, in-state tuition for illegals, bailouts for his insurance industry he works for etc. He also donates to Democrats and you should see his donations, Pfizer and every other special interest.
    Go Gerry James!

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