Politics & Government

Sen. Bill Galvano of Bradenton raises $130,000 at campaign kickoff event

Rep Bill Galvano gives an end of session update to the Manatee County Commission last month. 
 TIFFANY TOMPKINS/Bradenton Herald file
Rep Bill Galvano gives an end of session update to the Manatee County Commission last month. TIFFANY TOMPKINS/Bradenton Herald file ttompkins@bradenton.com

MANATEE -- It took all of an hour for State Sen. Bill Galvano to raise more than $130,000 for what he told a crowd in Manatee County last week will be his last campaign ever for the Florida Legislature.

With Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, and State Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, by his side, the Bradenton Republican told a crowd of about 250 supporters that he realized that his campaign kickoff event last week for the newly redrawn Senate District 21 will also be his last campaign kickoff ever

for the Legislature. Galvano served in the Florida House from 2002 to 2010, then was elected to the Senate for the first time in 2012. Term limits will bar Galvano from seeking re-election.

But while Galvano, 50, noted it was his last campaign for the Senate, he is not quite retiring from politics.

"It doesn't mean it's my last campaign period," said Galvano, who is in line to become the Senate President for 2019 and 2020, if he wins re-election and Republicans retain the majority in the Senate.

Though he has spent a dozen years in the Legislature, Galvano will still have to introduce himself to tens of thousands of new voters in Hillsborough County this year. The latest court-ordered redistricting changed his district dramatically. District 21 now includes all of Manatee County, plus nearly 150,000 residents in eastern Hillsborough County from Brandon south to the county border.

Galvano said he already has some of Hillsborough County in his current district, and is making plans to hold more events in eastern Hillsborough County to introduce himself to newer voters.

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