TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Less than a week after announcing her resignation as Florida’s secretary of state, Laurel M. Lee has announced her campaign to run for U.S. Congress.
Lee’s last day with the Florida Department of State was May 16. In an announcement Tuesday, she said she’ll be running for Florida Congressional District 15. The newly-drawn district includes parts of northeast Hillsborough County and parts of Pasco and Polk counties.
“It was an honor serving Governor DeSantis as his Secretary of State, but I am ready to return home to Tampa and I am excited to throw my hat into the ring and ask my community for their support,” Lee said in a statement. “I know what is at stake and how important it is that we send more conservatives to Washington.”
Her announcement included criticism of current policies in Washington, saying the federal government was continuing to “overreach at every turn,” and had failed to use the military to secure the U.S. border.
“Now, disturbing trends from government thinking they know what is best for our children and families,” Lee’s statement continued. “Congress needs leaders from Florida who will stand up for them, and I know I can be that voice for Congressional District 15.”
Lee was appointed as secretary of state in February 2019, serving in the role for just over three years. Before that, she was appointed by then-Gov. Rick Scott as a circuit court judge for Hillsborough County’s 13th Judicial Circuit.
The announcement for Lee’s congressional campaign comes ahead of the Aug. 23 primary in Florida. If Lee wins her primary for District 15, she’ll be in the race in November’s general election.
Qualifiers for campaigning are June 13 to June 17. To run, candidates who were currently in office had to resign a minimum of 10 days before qualifying, according to the Florida Department of State. Lee’s resignation from office on May 16 fits that requirement.