Florida State Senator Lauren Book (D-District 32),was elected as Florida Senate Democrat Leader after the previously elected leader, Perry Thurston (D-District 33), announced his decision Monday to resign from the Florida Senate to run for the late Congressman Alcee Hastings’ open seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“I am honored and humbled by the vote of confidence from my colleagues to lead our FL Senate Democratic Caucus. For Senate Democrats to effect real and meaningful change without leaving anything on the table, we must fight for our strongly-held Democratic values that benefit everyday people,” Book said. “I believe that through effective consensus building, Senate Democrats can be powerfully pragmatic without compromising our principles, and there is no doubt the people of Florida deserve that much from their elected leaders.”
Her term runs from 2022 to 2024 and she will succeed Senator Gary Farmer (D-District 34).
During her term she will serve alongside a Republican counterpart, Senator Kathleen Passidomo (R-District 28), marking the first time the Florida Senate will be led by two women.
Republicans currently control the state Senate, occupying 24 of the 40 seats.
Since being elected to the Senate in 2016, Book, 36, has gained respect from both sides of the aisle as a strong advocate for children and victims of sexual assault by championing legislation to protect their interests.
A survivor herself, she has made these issues her life’s work.
An internationally-recognized child advocate, she is the founder and CEO of Lauren’s Kids, a 501(c)(3). Book’s first children’s book, Lauren’s Kingdom, published in 2015, is described as “a beautiful book with a crucial message for kids: if something doesn’t feel right to you, speak up and don’t be ashamed.”
She went on to become a four-time Emmy winning producer and storyteller for Out of Darkness, Into Light, What If I told you…, Child Sexual Abuse: Prevention through Education, and Lauren’s Kingdom: It’s OK to Tell.
She is an appointee to the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking Direct-Support Organization Board of Directors, the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet and the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission.
The latter is a panel set up to improve school safety following the February 14, 2018 Parkland school shooting that killed 17 students and staff members. Book was a driver of legislation to reform school-safety following the Parkland massacre.