Laurel Lee tops contentious CD-15 Republican primary

by | Aug 23, 2022

  • Laurel Lee, former Secretary of State under Gov. Ron DeSantis, emerged victorious in Congressional District 15 from a stacked field of Republican primary candidates 
  • Lee received more than 41 percent of the vote, maintaining a double-digit lead over second-placed Sen. Kelli Stargel
  • Despite a late entry into the race, Lee was able to fundraise $663,458, more than any other candidate in the race regardless of party

Former Secretary of State Laurel Lee has won the crowded Republican field for Congressional District 15. Obtaining 41.5 percent of the vote, Lee defeated Sen. Kelli Stargel and Rep. Jackie Toledo.

In what was seen as one of Florida’s most contentious races, Lee both out-fundraised and outspent all other candidates, Republican or Democrat.

Per the most recent campaign documents, Lee brought in $663,458 and spent $452,696. On the day of the primary election, her campaign held just over $200,000 on hand.

Lee will now face journalist Alan Cohn in the November general election. Due to the district’s Republican lean, Lee will be seen as a favorite to win the Congressional seat.

“Today, Republican voters in Congressional District 15 made clear the type of leadership they want representing them in Congress, and I’m honored to be their nominee going into the general election,” said Lee upon her primary win. “We have a lot of work to do to take back Congress. I look forward to hitting the ground running as we head toward the general election in November and continuing the fight to bring conservative leadership for our area to Washington.”

Polls in the days leading up to the primary favored Lee. One conducted by Victory Insights showed Lee holding a double-digit lead over Stargel.

After leaving her position as Secretary of State under Gov. Ron DeSantis to compete for the available seat, Lee, a former Hillsborough circuit judge, changed the face of the already packed field of candidates. Despite the Governor’s lack of an official endorsement in the race, she immediately had the DeSantis seal of approval.

“I want to thank those who joined us on the campaign trail at community events, waving signs, knocking on doors, and meeting with voters throughout the district,” Lee said. “You helped to make this victory possible. I also want to recognize my family, who was right there along with us campaigning, for supporting and encouraging me from the start.

Throughout her campaign, Lee picked up endorsements from Attorney General Ashley Moody, former FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen, former State Attorney Mark Ober, and Green Beret Jay Collins, as well as over 50 armed service veterans, among others.


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