Lakeland attorney John Hugh Shannon running for term-limited Seth McKeel’s seat

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Lakeland Attorney and Marine Corps veteran John Hugh Shannon announced Tuesday he is campaigning for the open Florida House District 40 seat.

Shannon is running as a conservative Republican to replace term-limited Rep. Seth McKeel for the district covering much of metropolitan Lakeland and Polk County. He faces Colleen Burton in the GOP primary, and the winner will encounter American Independent Party candidate Franklin Shoemaker in November. Burton has raised nearly $64,000 in the race so far.

“The values of faithful service, looking out for the little guy, and the greatness of this nation were instilled in me by my parents and forged in the Marine Corps,” Shannon said in a statement. “Sadly, those values sometimes get little attention in government.”

Shannon joined the United States Marine Corps in 1967, becoming an officer in 1968, and graduated Florida State University in June 1969. John completed the Florida Bar in February 1975, subsequently moving to Polk County to practice law in Ft. Meade. Since 1981, Shannon has operated an independent law firm in Lakeland.

Shannon sees running for office as a “mission as an extension of the oath I took as a young Marine and a calling – not a career.”

“I intend to go to Tallahassee and ensure working class Floridians get a fair shake, government is kept restrained and limited, and we focus on results, rather than who gets credit,” he added.

Shannon, a lifetime Member of the NRA, also served as range safety officer in the Marine Corps.

In addition to opening a campaign account on Monday, Shannon also launched a website,


Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.