Anyone who had dreams of running for an open seat in the newly redrawn Senate District 26 should dream on for another four years.

Sitting in that seat is Sen. Denise Grimsley, a Sebring Republican who confirmed during a text message endorsement of Marco Rubio for president Monday that she is indeed running for re-election in the redistricted SD 26.

Grimsley, who is an administrator of two hospitals, one in Highlands County and the other in Hardee County had told at least one colleague that if the redistricting of Senate districts added more counties, she might have to consider options to running again.

Rumors, then, spread like wildfire.

Because of the extremely large Senate district, at least three House members indicated they were interested if she did not run. One reportedly had talked to Tallahassee money men about it.

SD 26 includes Okeechobee County and parts of Highlands, Martin, Osceola, Polk and St. Lucie counties.

Grimsley served eight years in the Florida House, rising to chair the House Appropriations Committee. She was elected to the Senate in 2012.

About The Author

Former Ledger of Lakeland columnist Bill Rufty is Central Florida political correspondent for SaintPetersBlog and Florida Politics. Rufty had been with the Ledger from 1985-2015, where, as political editor, he covered a wide range of beats, including local and state politics, the Lakeland City Commission, and the Florida Legislature. Ledger editor Lenore Devore said about Rufty’s 30-year career: “[He is] a man full of knowledge, a polling expert and a war history buff … who has a steel trap in his brain, remembering details most of us have long since forgotten.”

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