|Member of the Florida Senate
from the 12th district
November 20, 2012
|Preceded by||Jim Norman|
|Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 39th district
November 21, 2006 – November 20, 2012
|Preceded by||Bruce Antone|
|Succeeded by||Neil Combee|
November 18, 1948 |
New Orleans, Louisiana
|Alma mater||Miami-Dade Community College (A.A.)
University of Miami (B.Ed.)
Florida State University (M.S.)
Geraldine F. Thompson (born on November 18, 1948) is a Democratic member of the Florida State Senate, representing the 12th District, which is based in western Orange County, since 2012, previously serving in the Florida House of Representatives, representing the 39th District from 2006 to 2012.
Thompson was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and moved to the state of Florida in 1955, where she grew up in the town of Perrine where members of her family worked in agriculture and construction. She attended Miami-Dade Community College and received a scholarship to attend the University of Miami in Coral Gables, where she enrolled shortly after that school ended racial segregation. In 1970, she received a bachelor’s degree with honors in journalism and business education. She moved with her husband, Emerson, to Tallahassee, where he attended law school and she worked in state government and higher education. Her first position in Tallahassee was as Executive Secretary to Representative Gwendolyn Sawyer Cherry, the first African American woman to serve in the Florida House of Representatives. After working for several years, she sought a Master of Science degree in Communication from Florida State University, which she received in 1973. She then joined her husband in Orlando. She began work as a teacher in Orange County Public Schools. After six years, she left the classroom to accept a position as Director of the Equal Opportunity Office at Valencia Community College where she served for 24 years as Assistant to the President.
In 2002, Thompson ran for the Florida House of Representatives from the 39th District, which included parts of downtown Orlando in Orange County, against Bruce Antone, Tiffany Moore-Russell, and Jon Eason. She came in third place, receiving 26% of the vote to Antone's 34% and Moore-Russell's 31%. Thompson again ran for office in 2004 when she challenged incumbent State Senator Gary Siplin in the Democratic primary in the 19th District, which included parts of central Orange County and northern Osceola County. In a tough-fought campaign, she lost to Siplin, winning 40% of the vote to Siplin's 60%.
Florida House of Representatives
When Antone, whom Thompson had previously run against, opted against seeking a fourth term in the House to instead unsuccessfully run for the Orange County Commission, Thompson ran to succeed him. She overwhelmingly defeated Prince Brown and Fritz Seide Jackson in the Democratic with 60% of the vote. She was then elected without an opponent in the general election, and was re-elected without opposition in 2008 and 2010.
Senator Siplin was unable to seek another term in 2012 due to term limits, so Thompson once again ran for the Florida Senate. This time, she encountered Siplin's wife, Victoria Siplin, in the Democratic primary. Thompson campaigned on a platform of enhancing access to public education and job creation, and attacked Siplin for relying on taxpayer-funded mailers, sent out by her husband's Senate office, to promote herself. In the end, she defeated Victoria Siplin with 56% of the vote. Thompson then ran against Fritz Seide Jackson, who had previously run against her in the Democratic primary for the Florida House in 2006 but was now the Republican nominee. The Orlando Sentinel endorsed Thompson, praising her as a "serious person, and a champion for public education and job creation," while criticizing Seide for only running as a "Republican for this race so he could make it to the general election."
- Busdeker, Jon (July 20, 2012). "Thompson-Siplin state Senate matchup tests experience vs. name recognition". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved May 25, 2013.
- Busdeker, Jon (August 14, 2012). "Thompson beats Siplin in Senate 12 race". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved May 25, 2013.
- "For State Senate Districts 12, 13, 14 we endorse...". Orlando Sentinel. October 2, 2012. Retrieved May 25, 2013.