Geraldine Thompson qualifies, prepared to defend residency attacks from Randolph Bracy

And she's bringing up questions about her opponent's homestead exemption.

State Sen. Geraldine Thompson is seeking re-election in Senate District 15 — despite threats from former state Sen. Randolph Bracy challenging her residency.

“I’m prepared for litigation if it comes to that,” Thompson said, adding that it is something she can defend in court.

But she also questions why Bracy would raise the matter when he has a homestead outside the district.

Bracy and Thompson both qualified for a Democratic Primary in SD 15. Since no other candidates filed for the seat, the Aug. 20 Primary is expected to be open to all voters and will decide who holds the Senate seat for the next four years. Candidates have until noon today (June 14) to qualify.

Bracy held a news conference last week where he promised to file a lawsuit against Thompson if she followed through with plans to run for a second term in SD 15. She was elected to the Florida Senate seat in 2022, allowing for a return to the Florida Senate after six years in the state House. She previously served in the Senate in a different-shaped district before.

Bracy won election to Thompson’s old Senate seat in 2016 and served until he ran for Congress in 2022. That year, he lost the Democratic Primary in Florida’s 10th Congressional District to now-U.S. Rep. Maxwell Frost.

As he looks to return to the Senate seat, he said Thompson isn’t qualified to hold the job right. While Florida law allows state lawmakers to run for office before living in their district, it does require that they live in the jurisdiction before taking office.

But he alleges Thompson’s family still has a homestead on a home outside the district. The Orlando Sentinel confirmed Thompson’s husband had a homestead exemption on a home outside SD 15 in both 2023 and 2024.

When Bracy held a news conference on the issue, Thompson attended and defended herself as well.

“Sen. Geraldine Thompson showed extreme disrespect and desperation by trying to crash my news conference today,” Bracy later posted on Facebook. “She was uninvited and refused to leave the podium area. Sen. Geraldine Thompson’s blatant disregard for showing respect and professionalism even shocked me. She told numerous lies and tried to insert personal attacks because she knows her record doesn’t compare to mine. I’m not a stranger to how low Sen. Geraldine Thompson will go, but I must say, she surprised me today.”

Thompson said she’s hurt by Bracy’s candidacy because of long family ties. She and Bracy’s mother roomed together in college, and she supported his prior runs for office.

But she also considered this attack bizarre because Bracy, while listing an Oakland address on campaign paperwork, had a homestead himself on a Clermont home outside the district.

As for her own residency, she said that for the past two years, she has lived chiefly with her daughter, helping care for a grandchild. Her husband still lives chiefly at the couple’s longtime home, she said, but she has not only moved into her daughter’s home but also taken on many of the expenses. And she said that can be proven in court.

“I will produce receipts from a moving company that moved me to the address in SD 15 a couple of years ago,” she said, “and I will have documents show utilities in my name. I have received bills monthly.”

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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