Laurel Lee
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 15th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2023
Preceded byScott Franklin (redistricting)
30th Secretary of State of Florida
In office
January 28, 2019 – May 16, 2022
GovernorRon DeSantis
Preceded byMike Ertel
Succeeded byCord Byrd
Judge of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida
In office
May 5, 2013 – January 28, 2019
Appointed byRick Scott
Preceded byDaniel Sleet
Succeeded byThomas Palermo
Personal details
Born
Laurel Frances Moore

(1974-03-26) March 26, 1974 (age 50)
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
SpouseTom Lee
Children3
EducationUniversity of Florida (BA, JD)
WebsiteHouse website

Laurel Frances Lee (née Moore; born March 26, 1974)[1][2] is an American lawyer and politician serving as the U.S. representatives for Florida's 15th congressional district since 2023. A member of the Republican Party, she was a judge on Florida's Thirteenth Judicial Circuit from 2013 to 2019 and was the 30th Secretary of State of Florida from 2019 to 2022.[3]

Legal career

Lee began her legal career as an attorney for the Carlton Fields law firm in 2003 before becoming an assistant public defender in 2005.[4] Lee also served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida from 2007 until her appointment by then-Governor Rick Scott to a judgeship on the Hillsborough County Circuit Court in 2013.[5][6] She was unopposed for election to a full six-year term in 2014.[7]

Florida Secretary of State

Lee was appointed Florida Secretary of State by Governor Ron DeSantis on January 28, 2019, replacing Mike Ertel, who resigned after less than a month in office when a 2005 photo of him wearing blackface as part of a Halloween costume as a Hurricane Katrina victim surfaced.[8][9]

In October 2020, weeks before the 2020 election, Lee sought to purge felons from voter rolls if they had outstanding court debts. Politico called the move "a surprise, late-hour move that comes after more than 2 million people already have voted in the presidential battleground." Lee's decision was not distributed to the wider public, only to local election officials.[10]

In December 2021, Lee made a criminal referral to Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody seeking an investigation into potentially fraudulent signatures collected by Las Vegas Sands in a petition drive to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot for the November 2022 elections that would expand casino gambling.[11]

On May 12, 2022, Lee announced she was resigning effective four days later, seven months before the 2022 election. She did not offer a reason for resigning.[12] On May 17, she announced her candidacy for the United States House of Representatives in Florida's 15th congressional district in the 2022 elections.[13] She won the general election by a wide margin.

U.S. House of Representatives

Committee assignments

For the 118th Congress:[14]

Personal life

Lee is married to Tom Lee, a former member of the Florida Senate. They have three children. They live in Brandon, Florida.[15] Lee is Protestant.[16]

References

  1. ^ "Florida New Members 2023". November 17, 2022. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  2. ^ "Laurel Moore - Attorney in Tampa, FL". www.attorneys.org.
  3. ^ "Governor Ron DeSantis Appoints Judge Laurel M. Lee as Florida Secretary of State". Office of the Governor of Florida. January 28, 2019. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
  4. ^ "Governor Ron DeSantis Appoints Judge Laurel M. Lee As Florida Secretary Of State". CBS Miami. January 28, 2019. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
  5. ^ "Two UF grads appointed to Hillsborough judgeships". Tampa Bay Times. May 7, 2013. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
  6. ^ "Saint Peter Blog". Archived from the original on August 18, 2014. Retrieved March 7, 2023.
  7. ^ "Gov. Ron DeSantis names Tampa judge Laurel M. Lee Florida Secretary of State". Tallahassee Democrat. Tallahassee Democrat. January 28, 2019. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
  8. ^ "Tampa Judge Replaces Official Who Resigned Over Blackface Photos". Seminole Heights, FL Patch. January 28, 2019.
  9. ^ "Laurel Moore Lee". www.fljud13.org.
  10. ^ Fineout, Gary (October 15, 2020). "Florida acts to remove felons from voter rolls as election looms". Politico PRO. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
  11. ^ LAWRENCE MOWER; MARY ELLEN KLAS (January 20, 2022). "FL elections officials suspect fraud in signature gathering | Miami Herald". www.miamiherald.com. Retrieved January 22, 2022.
  12. ^ "Florida's secretary of state to resign ahead of upcoming elections". WKMG-TV. May 12, 2022.
  13. ^ "Former Fla. Secretary of State Lee joins crowded GOP field in U.S. House-15 race".
  14. ^ "Laurel M. Lee". Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. Retrieved May 3, 2023.
  15. ^ "Rep. Laurel Lee - R Florida, 15th, In Office - Biography | LegiStorm". www.legistorm.com. Retrieved January 4, 2023.
  16. ^ "Religious affiliation of members of 118th Congress" (PDF). Pew Research Center. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 16, 2023.
Political offices Preceded byMike Ertel Secretary of State of Florida 2019–2022 Succeeded byCord Byrd U.S. House of Representatives Preceded byScott Franklin Member of the U.S. House of Representativesfrom Florida's 15th congressional district 2023–present Incumbent U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial) Preceded byMike Lawler United States representatives by seniority 397th Succeeded bySummer Lee