Keith Perry (politician)

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Keith Perry
State Representative Keith Perry.jpg
Member of the Florida Senate
from the 8th district
Assumed office
November 8, 2016
Preceded by Redistricted
Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 21st district
22nd (2010-2012)
In office
November 6, 2012 – November 8, 2016
Preceded by Larry Cretul
Succeeded by Chuck Clemons
Personal details
Born (1958-12-03) December 3, 1958 (age 58)
Tallahassee, Florida
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Amy S. Cekander
Children Alexis, Amanda
Alma mater Buchholz High School
Profession Roofing contractor

W. Keith Perry (born December 3, 1958) is a Republican member of the Florida Senate, representing the 8th district, encompassing Alachua, Putnam, and part of Marion County in North Central Florida, since 2016. He also served in the Florida House of Representatives, representing the 22nd district from 2010 to 2012 and the 21st district from 2012 to 2016.


Keith Perry was born in Tallahassee and attended Buchholz High School in Gainesville, and after graduating, started Keith Perry Roofing Contractors, which became a successful roofing company in Florida. He also founded the House of Hope, a Christian-affiliated rehabilitation center for recently released prisoners.[1]

Florida Legislature[edit]

House of Representatives[edit]

In 2010, when incumbent Republican State Representative Larry Cretul, the Speaker of the House, could not seek re-election due to term limits, Perry ran to succeed him in the 22nd District, which included southern Alachua County, eastern Levy County, and western Marion County. In the Republican primary, he defeated Remzey Samarrai and John Patrick Deakins, winning 44% of the vote. He encountered Democratic nominee Jon Paugh in the general election, and he won election to his first term convincingly, with 61% of the vote.

When Florida House districts were redrawn in 2012, Keith Perry ran for re-election in the 21st District, which constituted vastly different territory than the 22nd District, but included Gainesville, where he lives. He was unopposed in the Republican primary, and in the general election, he faced Andrew Morey, the Democratic nominee. Because Keith Perry had not represented most of the territory in the legislature and the fact that Morey had not run for office before, they "were unfamiliar faces in broad swaths of District 21."[2] In the end, Perry was re-elected with 57% of the vote.

While in the legislature, Keith Perry was the sponsor of legislation that would extend "foster care from age 18 to 21," so as to ensure that foster children who turn 18 but have not obtained their high school diploma are not left entirely on their own.[3]


In 2016, after court-ordered redistricting, Perry ran for newly drawn open Senate seat anchored by Alachua County. He defeated former state senator Rod Smith in the general election, 52.6 to 47.4%.[4] Perry stated that his goals for the term included reducing taxes, reducing government regulation, and increasing funding for the arts and music in elementary schools.[5]

Campaign sign incident[edit]

In September 2016, Perry was investigated for battery for slapping a man's neck after the man took down a campaign sign.[6] The complaint against Perry was later withdrawn.[7]


  1. ^ Tinker, Cleveland. "Alliance endorses Rod Smith for state Senate seat". Gainesville Sun. Retrieved 2016-11-23. 
  2. ^ Swirko, Cindy (November 6, 2012). "State Rep. Perry re-elected in District 21". Gainesville Sun. Retrieved May 3, 2014. 
  3. ^ Koff, Rochelle (May 1, 2013). "After nail-biter of a day in the House, foster care bill passes". Miami Herald. Retrieved May 3, 2014. 
  4. ^ Tinker, Cleveland (2016-11-08). "Perry slides past Smith for new state Senate seat". Gainesville Sun. Retrieved 2016-11-12. 
  5. ^ Tinker, Cleveland. "Perry slides past Smith for new state Senate seat". Gainesville Sun. Retrieved 2016-11-23. 
  6. ^ "Florida rep Keith Perry caught slapping a man in the neck". Mail Online. Retrieved 2016-10-12. 
  7. ^ Writer, Caitlin Ostroff, Staff. "Complaint in case against Rep. Keith Perry to be withdrawn". The Independent Florida Alligator. Retrieved 2016-10-12.

External links[edit]