As election day creeps closer, the push of mailers, walkers and events from candidates will be growing greater. The good news is there are a group of candidates from the Bay Area Legislative Delegation (BALD) that you no longer have to worry about. June 25th was the last date a candidate could qualify to run for office. Since the passing of the qualifying date, many candidates were automatically elected without opposition.
To keep you in the loop on who has already been elected we have compiled a list of everyone in the Bay Area Legislative Delegation who was elected without opposition. They will not appear on your ballot and will assume office November 8th.
We will be doing a similar update after the Florida Primary on August 30th. Some candidates who win their primary may not have opposition in the General Election and therefore, be elected without opposition. Although this highlight only encompasses the Bay Area Legislative Delegation, we would be more than happy to make a similar one for any other area upon request.
Senator Wilton Simpson
Senator Simpson serves Hernando, Sumter, Pasco and Lake Counties in the Florida Senate. He lives in Trilby with his wife Kathy and their son Wilton Jr. Senator Simpson is a businessman and entrepreneur. He is the head of Simpson Environmental Services, which specializes in asbestos removal, mold remediation, duct cleaning and general contracting. He also owns and operates Simpson Farms, Inc., an egg-laying operation home to over one million chickens. Senator Simpson was elected to the Florida Senate in 2012.
Senator Tom Lee
Senator Lee was born in San Antonio, Texas and moved to Florida when he was 7 years old. He graduated from the University of Tampa with a degree in business and went on to work for Sabel Homes of Florida, where he is currently Vice President. Senator Lee was first elected to the Florida Senate in 1996 and served as Senate President from 2004-2006. He ran for re-election in 2012 and is currently running for the new District 20 seat.
Senator Bill Galvano
From Bradenton, Florida, Senator Galvono is an attorney by trade and was elected to the Florida Senate in 2012. He also served four terms in the Florida House of Representatives beginning in 2002. Senator Galvano is slated to be the President on the Florida Senate in 2019 and 2020.
Senator Jack Latvala
Senator Latvala had previously served eight years in the Florida Senate from 1994 to 2002. After feeling that he had been called back to serve he returned to the Senate in 2010, and has been reelected subsequently. When he’s not in Tallahassee, Senator Latvala is the CEO of Gulf Coast Imprinting in Largo. He is the father of Representative Chris Latvala, and enjoys fishing and spending time with his children and grandchildren.
Senator Jeff Brandes
From Saint Petersburg, Florida Senator Brandes was first elected to the Florida Senate in 2012. Before running for Senate, Senator Brandes served in the U.S. Army Reserves, which included a 14-month tour in Iraq. When he’s not in Tallahassee, Senator Brandes manages real estate and commercial properties in Pinellas County.
Senator Denise Grimsley
From Lakeland, Florida Senator Grimsley graduated from Warner Southern College with a degree in Organizational Management. She first took office in 2004 when she ran for the 77th District Florida House seat. After being unable to run for reelection for her House seat due to term limits, she ran for the Florida Senate in the 21st district and was elected as a Senator in 2012.
Florida House of Representatives
Dr. Ralph Massullo is a Dermatologist hailing from Lecanto, Florida. He is past president of the Florida Society of Dermatology Surgery, which named him its Surgeon of the Year in 1998. Here at home, he has served on the board at Seven Rivers Christian School as a co-sponsor of the USA Olympic wrestling team and as an active supporter of local charitable causes. He is currently running for the Florida House District 34 seat.
Representative Jake Raburn
Representative Jake Raburn was born and raised in Hillsborough county Florida. He attended the University of Florida, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Communication with minors in Food & Resource Economics and Agricultural Law. After graduation, Jake went to work for the Florida Department of Citrus as a marketing specialist with the state agency. After two years there, Jake had the opportunity to go to work for Hinton Farms Produce, Inc., which is his wife’s family farming operation. Representative Raburn was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2012.
Representative Janet Cruz
Representative Janet Cruz (D) was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2010 and has been reelected subsequently. She served as Democrat Deputy Whip from 2010 to 2012. Representative Cruz is designated to be the Democratic Minority Leader during the 2017 and 2018 Legislative Sessions.
Representative Jamie Grant
Representative Grant has served in the Florida House of Representatives since 2010. He is the son of former Florida House and Senate member John Grant. He graduated from Auburn University and received his J.D. from Stetson University College of Law and is currently an attorney and small business owner. Representative Grant is a community leader who also serves on numerous local boards, including the Board of Directors for Pepin Academies, the Board of Directors for the Bay Area Charter Foundation, and the Board of Directors for General Norman Schwarzkopf’s Children’s Home Sporting Clays Classic.
Representative Jim Boyd
Representative Boyed was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2010, representing Bradenton, FL. He attended Florida State University and currently works as an insurance and real estate agent. Representative Boyd is serving as the Deputy Majority Leader and Majority Whip for the 2014-2016 Legislative Sessions.
Speaker-Designate Richard Corcoran
Speaker-Designate Corcoran is a long-time Pasco resident, he graduated from Hudson High School and received a Bachelor’s Degree from St. Leo College in 1989. He went on to earn his Juris Doctorate from Regent University in 1996, all while serving in the US Naval Reserve. Speaker-Designate Corcoran was an adviser to three speakers of the Florida House: Daniel Webster, Tom Feeney, and Marco Rubio. He also served as Marco Rubio’s Chief of Staff. He was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2010, and has been reelected subsequently.
Representative Danny Burgess
Representative Burgess was elected to the Florida House in 2014. He attended University of South Florida and graduated with a degree in Political Science. He later attended the Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law in Orlando, graduating with his Juris Doctor in 2011. Representative Burgess also serves in the Army Reserves as a first lieutenant in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps.