Bill Galvano

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Bill Galvano
Bill Galvano.jpg
President of the Florida Senate
Assumed office
November 20, 2018
Preceded byJoe Negron
Majority Leader of the Florida Senate
In office
November 18, 2014 – November 29, 2016
Preceded byLizbeth Benacquisto
Succeeded byWilton Simpson
Member of the Florida Senate
Assumed office
November 6, 2012
Preceded byRedistricted
Constituency26th district (2012–2016)
21st district (2016–present)
Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 68th district
In office
November 5, 2002 – November 2, 2010
Preceded byMark G. Flanagan
Succeeded byJim Boyd
Personal details
Born (1966-04-16) April 16, 1966 (age 53)
Liberty, New York, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Rebecca Horton
EducationManatee Community College (AA)
University of Florida (BA)
University of Miami (JD)

William Saint Galvano is a Republican politician who has served as a member of the Florida Senate since 2012. He currently represents the 21st district, encompassing Manatee County and southern Hillsborough County in the Tampa Bay area. Previously, Galvano served four terms in the Florida House of Representatives, representing the Bradenton area from 2002 to 2010.


Galvano was born in Liberty, New York, and moved to the State of Florida in 1969, where he was a student at Sebring High School. He then attended Manatee Community College, where he received his associate degree in 1986, and then the University of Florida, graduating with his bachelor's degree in political science in 1989. Following graduation, Galvano attended the University of Miami School of Law, graduating with his Juris Doctor in 1992. After working in private practice for several years as an associate attorney, he became a partner at Grimes Goebel Grimes Hawkins Gladfelter & Galvano, a law firm in Bradenton.

Florida House of Representatives[edit]

In 2002, when incumbent State Representative Mark G. Flanagan was unable to seek re-election due to term limits, Galvano ran to succeed him in the 68th District, which was based in western Manatee County and included a small segment of southern Hillsborough County. He faced Brian Murphy, an optometrist; Benjamin Milks, a Cedar Hammock Fire Control District Commissioner; and David Miner, an attorney, in the Republican primary. Galvano campaigned on his support for providing a clean-up fund to deal with the fallout from phosphate mining operations attracting more federal dollars to the state, reforming the state's charter school program by requiring a "parental contribution" for families who use vouchers,[1] strengthening corporate fraud laws, enacting a clear air policy statewide, and providing "community-based care" for children in foster care.[2] Though the Sarasota Herald-Tribune praised Galvano's candidacy as "appealing on several key issues," including his "keener interest in environmental protection" and growth management, they ultimately endorsed Murphy, citing his "greater breadth of leadership experience."[3] Ultimately, however, Galvano defeated his opponents by a fairly wide margin, winning 46% of the vote to Murphy's 31%, Milks' 13%, and Miner's 10%. He advanced to the general election, where he was opposed by Arlene Sweeting, the Democratic nominee, and James Wallace, the Libertarian nominee. During the general election, he attacked Sweeting's platform, noting, "She wants to do a lot of things for everybody. The question is: Where will the money come from?" He called for the implementation of zero-based budgeting in light of the state's revenue shortfalls.[4] The Herald-Tribune endorsed Galvano in the general election, noting that, despite the fact that both candidates are "thoughtful, well-versed on the issues, and deeply involved in their community," Galvano's "more practical, fiscally conservative approach" would help create a "moderate, bipartisan consensus in Tallahassee."[5] Owing to the conservative nature of the district, Galvano won his first term in a landslide, defeating Sweeting and Wallace with 62% of the vote.

He was re-elected without opposition in 2004, 2006, and 2008, and, unable to seek a fifth term in 2010 due to term limits, was succeeded by Jim Boyd.

Florida Senate[edit]

When the state's legislative districts were redrawn, Galvano opted to run in the newly created 26th District, which included the district that he previously represented in the House. He was unopposed in the Republican primary, and advanced to the general election, where he faced Paula House, the Democratic nominee and an attorney. Galvano campaigned on a platform of lowering the corporate tax rate and eventually phasing it out, supporting the state's charter school system, and connecting the coast with light rail, while House criticized Galvano for siding with special interests.[6] Galvano was endorsed by The Bradenton Herald, the Tampa Bay Times, and the Tampa Tribune, with the Herald praising the "depth of his legislative and leadership experience, the strength of his commitment to public service and his principled approach to issues,"[7] the Times noting his "better grasp of the region,"[8] and the Tribune citing his "reputation as a reasonable, thoughtful lawmaker."[9] He ended up defeating House by a solid margin, winning his first term in the Senate with 59% of the vote to her 41%.

He was re-elected to his second term in 2014 without opposition, and was named the Senate Majority Leader for the 2014-2016 Senate term.[10] Additionally, in anticipation of his re-election in 2018, Galvano has been circulating pledge cards from Senators in an effort to be elected President of the Florida Senate that year.[11]

Galvano's district was reconfigured and renumbered after court-ordered redistricting in 2016.

In 2018, Galvano, along with Governor Rick Scott and Representative Jose Oliva, pushed for the passage of Florida's most restrictive gun control in 20 years[12].

External links[edit]


  1. ^ White, Dale (September 2, 2002). "4 GOP candidates face the issues". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Retrieved May 15, 2015.
  2. ^ White, Dale (August 14, 2002). "GOP contenders speak at forums". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Retrieved May 15, 2015.
  3. ^ "House District 68: We recommend J. Brian Murphy in the Republican primary". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. August 31, 2002. Retrieved May 15, 2015.
  4. ^ White, Dale (October 27, 2002). "State House District 68". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Retrieved May 15, 2015.
  5. ^ "Florida House, District 68: We recommend William S. Galvano". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. October 24, 2002. Retrieved May 15, 2015.
  6. ^ Mitchell, Robbyn (November 1, 2012). "Senate District 26 candidates agree it's the economy, but not on how to improve it". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved May 15, 2015.
  7. ^ "Sterling record makes Bill Galvano best for Senate seat" (PDF). The Bradenton Herald. October 25, 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 4, 2016. Retrieved May 15, 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  8. ^ "For Florida Senate, three independent voices". Tampa Bay Times. October 19, 2012. Retrieved May 15, 2015.
  9. ^ "Our picks for state Senate". Tampa Tribune. October 3, 2012. Retrieved May 15, 2015.
  10. ^ Kennedy, Sara (November 6, 2014). "Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, appointed majority leader of Florida Senate for 2014-16 term". The Bradenton Herald. Retrieved May 15, 2015.
  11. ^ Kennedy, Sara (July 18, 2013). "Bradenton's Galvano targets Florida Senate presidency". The Bradenton Herald. Retrieved May 15, 2015.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^
Florida Senate
Preceded by
Lizbeth Benacquisto
Majority Leader of the Florida Senate
Succeeded by
Wilton Simpson
Political offices
Preceded by
Joe Negron
President of the Florida Senate