Under the latest reapportionment of the Florida Legislature, Lakeland is split between two Senate districts:

  • District 12 includes all of Lakeland north of the Polk Parkway as well as most of Polk County north of State Road 60.
  • District 27 includes all of Lakeland and its suburbs south of the Polk Parkway and extends south to Lee County.

Both district elections include one Republican and one Democrat, so neither race will be represented on the Aug. 23 primary. Both seats will be decided in the Nov. 7 general election.

The Districts

District 12
Colleen Burton, R, vs. Veysel Dokur, D
District 27
Ben Albritton, R, vs. Christopher Proia, D

District 12

This race will be decided in the Nov. 8 general election. Republican Colleen Burton is seeking to be elevated to the Florida Senate after serving the maximum eight years in the Florida House. Democrat Veysel Dokur is an IT engineer and first-time office seeker. Both are Lakeland residents.

Colleen Burton

  • Republican
  • Lakeland, age 64
  • Website
  • Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn
  • Campaign finance
  • Campaign slogan: Proven. Conservative. Leadership
  • Endorsements: Business Voice (Lakeland Chamber of Commerce), Polk County Builders Association, Florida Police Benevolent Association

Veysel Dokur

  • Democrat
  • Lakeland, age 56
  • Website
  • Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn
  • Campaign finance
  • Campaign slogan: Voice of the People
  • Endorsements: Charlie Crist, Polk County Democrats, Democratic Public Education Caucus of Florida, Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus, Vote Pro Choice

News coverage:

  • Burton-Dokur race among five Senate contests in Florida expected to be in play – Florida Politics, Sept. 3
  • Colleen Burton faces newcomer Veysel Dokur in Senate race – The Ledger, Oct. 24
  • Florida Senate candidates Dokur and Burton differ in priorities – LkldNow, Nov. 4
  • Burton dominates fund-raising but could Dokur pull an upset – Florida Politics, Nov. 6

District 27

Republican incumbent Ben Albritton of Wauchula served in the Florida House for eight years before being elected in 2018 to the Senate, where he is in line to be Senate president for 2024-26. Democratic candidate Christopher Proia of Fort Myers is a truck driver and stand-up comedian.

Ben Albritton (incumbent)

  • Republican
  • Wauchula, age 53
  • Website
  • Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn
  • Campaign finance
  • Campaign slogan: Faith. Families. Freedom.
  • Endorsements: Business Voice (Lakeland Chamber of Commerce); former U.S. Reps. Dennis Ross and Tom Rooney; State Attorney Brian Haas; former Lakeland Mayor Howard Wiggs, Polk County Builders Association

Christopher Proia

News coverage

  • State candidates focus on water quality, education, guns – Fort Myers News Press, July 19
  • Fort Myers truck driver challenges Ben Albritton for Senate – The Ledger, Oct. 23

SEND FEEDBACK, corrections or news tips: newstips@lkldnow.com

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Barry Friedman

Barry Friedman founded Lkldnow.com in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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