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Gary Farmer Takes Over as Democrats’ Leader in the Florida Senate

Farmer also unveiled his leadership on Tuesday.

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Farmer also unveiled his leadership on Tuesday.

With his party holding 16 of the 40 seats in the chamber, state Sen. Gary Farmer, D-Fort Lauderdale, took over as leader of the Democratic Caucus in the Florida Senate on Tuesday.

“When I decided to run for office four years ago, I did so primarily to provide a voice in Tallahassee for those who may feel that they’ve been left behind, those workers and those families who may have lost their faith in a political process that wasn’t addressing the issues important to them,” said Farmer, the former president of the Florida Justice Association. “Whether it is affordable healthcare for all, a quality education for every student, equal rights regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or religious affiliation, or just fairness, equality and justice in all our laws, I am humbled and honored to help raise up our voices on these core, fundamental principles of our party.”

First elected to the Florida Senate in 2016, Farmer represents parts of Broward County.

Farmer also unveiled his leadership on Tuesday. State Sen. Bobby Powell, D-West Palm Beach, will be the Democratic leader pro tempore. State Sen. Perry Thurston, D-Fort Lauderdale, who used to lead Democrats in the Florida House, will be Rules chairman in the Democratic caucus. State Sen. Lori Berman, D-Boynton Beach, will be chair Policy for the Senate Democrats. State Sen. Janet Cruz, D-Tampa, who also led Democrats in the House, will by Fiscal Policy chairwoman.

Three Democrats in the Senate–Sens. Lauren Book of Plantation, Victor Torres of Kissimmee and Annette Taddeo of Miami–will be Farmer’s whips.


Reach Kevin Derby at



  • Originally from Jacksonville, Kevin Derby is a contributing writer for Florida Daily and covers politics across Florida.

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