|Member of the Florida Senate
from the 21st district
|Preceded by||Michael S. Bennett|
|Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 77th district
|Preceded by||Joe Spratt|
|Succeeded by||Dane Eagle|
|Born||September 21, 1959|
|Alma mater||Polk Community College (A.S.) Warner Southern College (B.A.) University of Miami (M.B.A.)|
|Profession||Nurse, citrus grower|
Denise Grimsley is a Republican member of the Florida State Senate, representing the 21st District, which includes Okeechobee County and parts of Highlands, Martin, Osceola, Polk, and St. Lucie Counties, in central and southern Florida.
Grimsley was first elected to the Florida House of Representatives from the 77th District, which included several southern counties in and near the Everglades, in 2004, when incumbent Republican State Representative Joe Spratt declined to seek another term. She overwhelmingly won her party's nomination and coasted to an easy victory in the general election. Grimsley easily won re-election in 2006 against Democratic nominee Zane R. Thomas, in 2008 against Democratic opponent Elton J. Gissendanner, and in 2010, when she was re-elected without opposition. During her final term in the House, Grimsley came under fire when the Orlando Sentinel reported that she had received a $10,000 contribution from The Walt Disney Company after she worked to include a $1.2 million appropriation for a LYNX bus route from Orlando International Airport to Disney's Orlando resort. Grimsley in turn asserted that she did not receive the contribution in exchange for the appropriation, noting, "I have never discussed these projects with Disney officials."
In 2012, the Florida Senate districts were reconfigured and Grimsley opted to run in the 21st District. She won her party's nomination unopposed and faced off against Democratic nominee Stacy Anderson McCland. In the general election, Grimsley won by a solid margin of victory, receiving 57% of the vote and winning every county in the district except for St. Lucie County.