For years, Lakeland was represented by one member of the U.S. House of Representatives. After this year’s realignment of districts, Lakeland is split nearly in half. District 15 covers all of Lakeland west of Florida Avenue and U.S. 98 N. District 18 covers the other half.
The District 15 race is getting a lot of attention because it has no incumbent. The Republican and Democratic primaries each drew five candidates. The primary winners, who face off on Nov. 8, are Republican Laurel Lee, a former Florida secretary of state, and Democrat Alan Cohn, a former TV news anchor and investigative reporter.
Laurel Lee, R
Alan Cohn, D
- Tampa, age 59
- Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
- Campaign finance
- Campaign slogan: Independent Leadership for Florida
- Endorsements: Former Governor/Congressman Charlie Crist, Former Florida CFO Alex Sink, Former Education Commissioner Betty Castor, State Attorney Andrew Warren, Former Florida House Majority Leader Samuel Bell III, U.S. Reps. Kathy Castor, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Lois Frankel, and six labor unions
- PAC supporting Laurel Lee gets $1 million infusion – Florida Politics, July 19
- Misleading ads tied to PAC supporting Stargel – Florida Politics, Aug. 4
- Open District 15 seat draws five ambitious Democrats – The Ledger (subscribers only), Aug. 10
- Five Republicans vie to be candidate for Florida’s new 15th Congressional district – The Ledger, Aug. 11
- Abortion question divides congressional candidates – News Channel 8, Sept. 13
- Cohn seeks to pin down Lee on abortion – Tampa Bay Times, Sept. 17
- Cohn raises $400,000 in third quarter – Florida Politics, Oct. 5
- Lee, Florida’s ex-elections chief, says Biden won Florida but won’t vouch for other states – Tampa Bay Times, Oct. 9
- Democrat Alan Cohn faces Republican Laurel Lee for open seat – The Ledger, Oct. 24
- Cohn and Lee differ on key issues – ABC Action News, Oct. 26
District 18, Republicans
Reapportionment put Scott Franklin, a former Lakeland city commissioner, into District 18; he is currently completing his first term in Congress. He faced four Republican opponents in the August primary and faces a general election opponent who is not affiliated with a political party.
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