Wilton Simpson

Wilton Simpson (born June 28, 1966) is an American Republican politician who has served as a member of the Florida Senate since 2012. He currently represents the 10th district, which includes Citrus, Hernando, and part of Pasco County, and previously represented the 18th district from 2012 to 2016. On November 17, 2020, he was elected Senate President for the 2020–22 Legislature.[1]

Wilton Simpson
Senator Wilton Simpson.jpg
President of the Florida Senate
Assumed office
November 17, 2020
Preceded byBill Galvano
Majority Leader of the Florida Senate
In office
November 29, 2016 – November 26, 2018
Preceded byBill Galvano
Succeeded byKathleen Passidomo
Member of the Florida Senate
Assumed office
November 6, 2012
Preceded byRedistricted
Constituency18th district (2012–2016)
10th district (2016–present)
Personal details
Born (1966-06-28) June 28, 1966 (age 55)
Lakeland, Florida, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Kathy Shotts
Children2
EducationPasco–Hernando State College (AA)

HistoryEdit

Simpson attended Pasco–Hernando State College, formerly Pasco–Hernando Community College, where he graduated in 1997 with an Associate of Arts degree, and he later served as a member of the College's Board of Trustees. Following his graduation, he worked for Simpson Environmental Services and Simpson Farms, family businesses.

Florida SenateEdit

Following the reconfiguration of Florida Senate districts in 2012, Simpson ran in the newly created 18th District, and though he initially anticipated engaging State Representative John Legg in a "very difficult primary," he ended up winning the nomination of the Republican Party and the general election unopposed when Legg decided to run in an adjacent district and his only Democratic opponent, a college student, dropped out.[2]

While serving in the legislature, Simpson was given control by Florida Senate President Don Gaetz over the reform of the Florida Retirement System, and announced that he would either accept the plan proposed by the Florida House of Representatives, which was "a sweeping...plan that would close the FRS pension system to all new employees who become eligible after January 1, 2014," or his own plan, "which would only close the pension plan to senior management and elected officials who become eligible after July 1, 2014.[3] However, on April 30, 2013, the Florida Senate rejected a plan similar to the House proposal, and as the 2013 session closed out, Simpson conceded that there would no reforms for the rest of the year.[4] Simpson had more success, however, with legislation dealing with the restoration of the Everglades, whereby taxes on farmers in the region would be maintained until the 2030s, $880 million would be allocated for water quality restoration, and $32 million would be spent annually on reducing the amount of phosphorus that flows into the region, which was unanimously approved by the legislature.[5]

Simpson's district was reconfigured and renumbered after court-ordered redistricting in 2016.

On November 17, 2020, Simpson was elected Senate President for the 2020–22 Legislature.[1]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Downey, Renzo (2020-11-17). "COVID-19, impact on budget dominate Wilton Simpson's first remarks as Senate President". Florida Politics. Retrieved 2020-11-17.
  2. ^ "Wilton Simpson, an east Pasco egg farmer, clinches Senate seat with ease". Tampa Bay Times. September 22, 2012.
  3. ^ "Next move for FRS bill up to Sen. Wilton Simpson". Tallahassee Democrat. April 24, 2013.
  4. ^ "Latest: FRS proposals dead for session after Senate defeat". Tallahassee Democrat. April 30, 2013.
  5. ^ "Everglades bill approved, sent to Scott". Pensacola News-Journal. May 2, 2013.

External linksEdit

Florida Senate
Preceded by
Member of the Florida Senate
from the 18th district

2012–2016
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Member of the Florida Senate
from the 10th district

2016–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Majority Leader of the Florida Senate
2016–2018
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by
President of the Florida Senate
2020–present
Incumbent