In the next wave of political shake-ups, State Rep. Joe Gruters has announced his run for the Florida Senate seat held by Sen. Greg Steube.
“With your support, I will continue the fight for conservative principles in the Senate,” he said in part in a Facebook post. He wasn’t immediately available for comment Thursday.
Steube, who represents District 23 in the Florida Senate, decided in February to run for the U.S. House after Rep. Tom Rooney announced he was not seeking re-election.
Gruters, a Sarasota Republican, was first elected to the state House of Representatives in 2016, representing the eastern parts of Manatee and Sarasota counties. According to the Florida Division of Elections candidate tracker, the only person filed to run for Gruters’ House seat in 2018 is Democrat Liv Coleman.
While nothing official has happened yet, Manatee County Commissioner Vanessa Baugh, who represents Lakewood Ranch, told the Bradenton Herald she is “seriously contemplating” running for the House seat held by Gruters. Baugh, who was originally elected in 2012, is serving her second four-year term on the commission, which is set to expire in 2020.
Gruters also serves as chairman of the Republican Party of Sarasota.
“I love having the opportunity to represent our community and I hope to be able to earn your support in the next chapter of my political journey,” Gruters said in a Facebook post.