Wilton Simpson, the 49-year-old state Senator from Trilby, continues his ascent in the Legislature’s upper chamber, moving up in the SPB power rankings from #19 to 2014 to #15 in 2015 to a tie for #6 in year’s ranking.
The chair of the Community Affairs Committee, Simpson represents Senate District 18.
However, he’s moving into the newly created Senate District 10 later this year, which includes a third of Pasco County and all of Hernando and Citrus counties to the north.
Simpson is currently slated to become a future Senate President (in four years), but his trajectory into that role was momentarily imperiled earlier this year, when there was a scenario playing out that could have seen him running against fellow Pasco County Republican John Legg in Senate District 10.
That matchup was averted, however, when Legg announced he wouldn’t run for the SD 10 seat.
In his first year in office in, the Nature Coast Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals recognized Simpson, an egg farmer and owner of Simpson Environmental Services, as 2013 Legislator of the Year for the Farm Bureau, and Philanthropist of the Year.
With over a million chickens, Simpson Farms supplies eggs to supermarkets across the state. In addition to his business prowess, he’s considered a thoughtful legislator, who listens to all sides of a debate.
“He’s just a great man,” surmises GOP State Committeeman Bill Bunting, who has served somewhat of a mentor when Simpson was interested in getting into public service.
“He treats everybody with respect,” Bunting continues. “It doesn’t matter if you were the shoeshine boy, or whatever. You don’t find that in a lot of guys who are so successful.”
For a complete explanation of how this list was created and who comprised the panel that assembled it, please read here.