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The Florida Senate

Majority Office — Press Release


October 15, 2019

CONTACT: Lisa Kauffman, (850) 487-5184

Republican Caucus Selects Senator Wilton Simpson as President-Designate

Senator Simpson to Serve as Senate President for the 2020-22 Legislative Term

Tallahassee —

The Florida Senate Republican Caucus today unanimously selected Senator Wilton Simpson (R-Trilby) as the President-Designate for the 2020-22 Legislative Term.

“Entering public service amid a long and successful career in the private sector, President-Designate Simpson understands firsthand many of the challenges and opportunities facing the job creators who drive our economy, a perspective we have all benefited from over the years,” said Senate President Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton), who  presided over today’s ceremony. “As a member of the Florida Senate, he has distinguished himself as a strong leader through his hard work and commitment to his constituents in District 10; to the Republican Caucus during his service as Majority Leader for the 2016-2018 term; and to the people of Florida as a whole. I am confident my friend, Senator Simpson, will lead the Senate with the same steadfast commitment to excellence he has demonstrated throughout his entire career.”

President-Designate Simpson was nominated by Senator Travis Hutson (R-St. Augustine).

“Wilton, there isn’t a soul in this Chamber today who hasn’t been blessed by your encouragement, a well-deserved attaboy, or even a swift kick in the pants – but always with smiling eyes,” Senator Hutson said, addressing President-Designate Simpson during the nomination speech. “You know first-hand how one decision from this city can affect the hard-working Floridians living in this state, and carry the weight and wisdom of their burdens with you each time you enter this room.”

“His dedication to the people of Florida, his commitment to the mission of this institution, his drive and determination and his love for his family – those are the qualities that will make Wilton Simpson an exceptional Senate President,” said Senate Majority Leader Kathleen Passidomo (R-Naples), who seconded the nomination.

The President-Designate was joined at today’s ceremony by his wife Kathy and their adult son Wilton Jr. His daughter, Lauran, also attended alongside her husband, Kenten, and their children Addy (5) and Emy (2). President-Designate and Mrs. Simpson also welcomed many members of their extended family, as well as close friends and colleagues from across Florida.

“I am humbled and honored by the unanimous vote of my caucus colleagues and the steadfast support of my family and friends,” said President-Designate Simpson. “We owe it to every Floridian to make sure our service is marked by leaving it better for the next generation. It is going to take a lot of work, but work is what we are made for.”

Video of President-Designate Simpson’s full acceptance speech can be found via the Florida Channel at

President-Designate Simpson was first elected to the state Senate in 2012 where he served as the chairman of the Community Affairs Committee until 2016. He was reelected subsequently and currently serves as Chairman of the Innovation, Industry, and Technology committee, and as Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations committee. He is a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development; Rules Committee and Joint Legislative Budget Commission. He served as the Senate Majority Leader of the Republican Caucus from 2016-2018. President-Designate Simpson represents State Senate District 10, which includes Hernando and Citrus Counties, and a portion of Pasco County.

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