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Majority Office — Press Release


November 26, 2012

CONTACT: Daniel Dawson, (850) 487-5184

President Gaetz Announces Key Senate Leadership Positions

Names Majority Leader and Deputy Leader

Tallahassee - Florida Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville) today announced key members of his leadership team. President Gaetz named Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto (R-Ft. Myers) as Majority Leader and Senator Tom Lee (R-Brandon) as Deputy Leader and Whip.


Senator Benacquisto, Majority Leader

“As Majority Leader, Senator Benacquisto will be responsible for working with members of the Republican Caucus to ensure the Florida Senate advances an agenda that keeps taxes low, removes burdens to private sector job creation, and works to further bind investments in education to the realities of today’s economy,” said President Gaetz. “Her previous experiences in local government and in the private sector, as well as her reputation for building consensus in the Florida Senate, make Senator Benacquisto a natural choice for this important position.” 

Senator Benacquisto was elected to the Senate in 2010 and reelected subsequently. She served as Deputy Majority Leader from 2011-2012 and as a councilwoman for the Village of Wellington from 2002-2010.


Senator Lee, Deputy Leader and Whip

“Tom Lee steps back onto the Senate floor with the credibility and unparalleled experience that comes from a distinguished Senate career,” said President Gaetz of the man who served as Senate President from 2004 to 2006.   “The position of Deputy Leader will be substantive and active over the next two years.  Senator Lee knows how the legislative process works and how to help Senators and Members of the House move their good bills to enactment.  He also has the benefit of looking at public policy through the lens of someone who signs the front side of paychecks.”

Senator Lee was first elected to the Florida Senate in 1996. He served for ten years, including two as Senate President. In 2012, the voters of his community again overwhelmingly selected Senator Lee to represent them in Tallahassee.