Tom Lee remains one of the Senate’s most powerful Republicans in Tallahassee and keeps the same ranking from 2015.
The Brandon Republican, who returned to the chamber in 2012 after a six-year hiatus, holds one of the Legislature’s most powerful positions as the Senate’s budget chief.
“The guy is not only cool under pressure but he’s been to this dance before,” Nick Iarossi, a lobbyist close to Lee, told the News Service of Florida last year. “He’s incredibly intelligent, methodical and strategic and is able to see the whole chessboard at once. And he’s been there. He doesn’t panic. He’s been through contentious issues before. So certainly, if you’ve got a legislative fight on your hands, he’s the guy you want in your corner.”
The question going into this fall is, where does Lee go? The new Senate map adopted by the courts this year split his Senate District 24 into two.
For a complete explanation of how this list was created and who comprised the panel that assembled it, please read here.