|Member of the Florida Senate
from the 15th district
|Preceded by||Paula Dockery|
|Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 64th district
|Preceded by||Dennis Ross|
|Succeeded by||James W. "J.W." Grant|
|Born||March 23, 1966|
|Spouse(s)||John K. Stargel|
Stargel was born in Tampa, Florida on March 23, 1966. Her family has a history of involvement in Florida politics. Her great-great-great-grandfather, Aaron Jernigan, was a member of the Florida House of Representatives shortly after Florida became a state in 1846. Her great-grandfather, James Lane, was sheriff for Sumter County from 1899 to 1911. Her husband, Judge John K. Stargel, served two terms in the Florida House of Representatives from 2002 to 2006, representing District 64.
In 2008, following the decision by incumbent State Representative Dennis A. Ross to not seek re-election, Stargel sought and won the Republican nomination to succeed him in District 64, which was coincidentally the same district that her husband had represented. Stargel was elected without opposition in the general election, and was re-elected in 2008 against Democratic nominee Carol Castagnero.
When Florida Senate districts were reconfigured in 2012, Stargel opted to run for the 15th District rather than seek re-election; she defeated Jack Myers and Ron Rushing in a landslide in the Republican primary. In the general election, she faced off against Stego Blue, who as the Democratic nominee. The Orlando Sentinel, though criticizing her tendency to be a "reliable vote for her party's agenda during her two terms in the House," endorsed her in her bid, observing, "Voters don't have a better option in this race." In the end, Stargel overwhelmingly defeated Blue, winning 58% of the vote.
- Florida State Senate - Kelli Stargel
- Florida House of Representatives Profile
- Project Vote Smart profile
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