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The Florida Senate

President Office — Press Release


March 6, 2024

CONTACT: Katie Betta, (850) 487-5229

Senator Dennis Baxley Honored as First Floridian to Serve as Pro Tempore in Both Legislative Chambers

Senate Installs Plaque to Honor Legislative Service of Dennis Baxley

Tallahassee —

The Florida Senate today honored the legislative service of President Pro Tempore Dennis K. Baxley (R-Ocala) on the occasion of his farewell address to the Senate. Based on historical records maintained by the Senate, President Pro Tempore Baxley is the first and only Floridian to serve as the Pro Tempore in both chambers of the Florida Legislature.

“It is fitting that we mark Senator Baxley’s retirement with a permanent commemoration of his historic legislative career,” said Senate President Kathleen Passidomo (R-Naples). “Senator Baxley has dedicated his entire life, both in elected office, and in his private work as a funeral director, to supporting and uplifting each person. This plaque will serve as a memorial to his service for decades to come.”

Senator Baxley served in the Florida House of Representatives from 2000-2007 and again in 2010-2016. In 2006, under Florida House Speaker and now U. S. Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Baxley was elected to serve as the Speaker Pro Tempore. In November 2022, Senator Baxley was elected to serve a two-year term as President Pro Tempore under Senate President Kathleen Passidomo (R-Naples).

To commemorate Senator Baxley’s service, the Senate installed a plaque in the Senate Chamber listing the Senator’s dates of service in the Florida Legislature and his terms as Pro Tempore of the respective chambers. U.S. Senator Rubio sent a video message from Washington which played during the ceremony.

Senate Rules require that a President Pro Tempore be elected for a term of two years at the organization session following each election, and that the Pro Tempore take an oath to support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Florida, and for the true and faithful discharge of the duties of office.

About Senator Dennis K. Baxley

Senator Dennis Baxley started his career in funeral service at Hiers Funeral Home in 1970, and he would eventually become a Partner and Principal Owner of Hiers-Baxley Funeral Services. Serving the Central Florida area, the business grew to having over one-hundred employees and nine different locations.

Elected to the Florida Senate in 2016, Senator Baxley currently serves Senate District 13 representing Lake County and West Orange County. He has been married to his wife, Ginette, for over fifty years and together they have five children and eight grandchildren.