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May 23, 2018
Florida's Freshman Lawmakers

Some of Florida's new state senators are sworn in for the 2013 session.

Dave Hood, (R), Florida House, District 25

Dave Hood, (R - Florida House - District 25) was mayor of Ormond Beach in the 1990s.

Photo: Smith Hood Bigman P.A.

Joe Saunders, D, District 59

Joe Saunders (D - Florida House - District 49), is one of two openly gay legislators elected last year.

Karen Castor Dentel, D, District 30

The race for the District 30 seat, which Karen Castor Dentel  won, was one of the most expensive in the state. (D - Florida House - District 30)

Ray Rodrigues, R, District 76

Ray Rodrigues (R - Florida House - District 76), a budget manager at Florida Gulf Coast University, ran unopposed in the general election.

Photo: Tristan Spinski - Naples Daily News

Geraldine Thompson, D, District 12

Geraldine Thompson (D - Florida Senate - District 12), served in the House for three terms before becoming a senator.

Tallahassee Trend

Florida's Freshman Lawmakers

Meet Florida's new crop of senators and house representatives. Each profile includes party, district, net worth and notable news.

Amy Keller | 1/4/2013

The confluence of term limits and redistricting contributed to significant turnover in the Florida Legislature, which welcomed 59 new lawmakers — including members who shifted chambers. Freshmen members previously elected in special elections were not included. Democrats picked up five seats in the House, putting an end to Republicans’ veto-proof two-thirds majority, and gained two seats in the Senate, marking their first net gain in that chamber in 30 years. The GOP has a 76-44 edge in the House and a 26-14 advantage in the Senate.

Net worth figures were obtained from the 2011 financial disclosure statements required of all candidates. The reports include all assets individually valued at more than $1,000, including household goods and personal effects; any liabilities in excess of $1,000; all primary and secondary sources and amounts of income exceeding $1,000; and interests in specified businesses. Net worth is computed by subtracting reported liabilities from reported assets.


Five freshman Democrats and 10 Republicans were elected to the 40-member state Senate.

Joseph Abruzzo

Joseph Abruzzo (D), 32, government relations and public policy consultant, Weiss, Handler & Cornwell

District 25 — part of Palm Beach County

Net Worth: $142,498

Notable: Abruzzo served two terms in the Florida House before moving to the Senate.

Aaron Bean
Aaron Bean

Aaron Bean (R), 45, relationship development officer, Shands Jacksonville

District 4 — Nassau and part of Duval County

Net Worth: $544,310

Notable: Bean served eight years in the Florida House, including a term as elected chairman of the Duval County Legislative Delegation in 2008. He also previously served as a Fernandina Beach city commissioner and as the city’s mayor.

Rob Bradley
Rob Bradley

Rob Bradley (R), 42, attorney

District 7 — Alachua, Bradford and Clay counties

Net Worth: $1.4 million

Notable: A former criminal prosecutor, Bradley also serves on the boards of Northeast Florida Community Hospice and Jacksonville Area Legal Aid and received a gubernatorial appointment to the board of trustees of St. Johns River State College.

Jeff Brandes
Jeff Brandes

Jeff Brandes (R), 36, real estate

District 22 — parts of Hillsborough and Pinellas counties

Net Worth: $10.35 million

Notable: Brandes, an Iraqi war veteran, served one term in the Florida House.

Dwight Bullard
Dwight Bullard

Dwight Bullard (D), 35, teacher

District 39 — Hendry, Monroe and parts of Collier and Miami-Dade counties

Net Worth: $25,500

Notable: Bullard served two terms in the House.

Jeff Clemens
Jeff Clemens

Jeff Clemens (D), 42, energy contractor

District 27 — part of Palm Beach County

Net Worth: $26,700

Notable: Clemens moves to the Senate after one term in the House.

Bill Galvano
Bill Galvano

Bill Galvano (R), 46, attorney

District 26 — DeSoto, Glades and Hardee counties and parts of Charlotte, Highlands, Hillsborough and Manatee counties

Net Worth: $1.5 million

Notable: Galvano served in the House from 2002-10.

Next page, meet more new senators.

Tags: Politics & Law, Government/Politics & Law

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