A Homegrown Business Leader
Tom Lee has lived and worked in the Brandon area for over 40 years. He attended Hillsborough County public schools and graduated from Hillsborough Community College and the University of Tampa. He’s been a leader at Sabal Homes, his family’s construction business; creating jobs and improving the quality of life for Hillsborough County residents for nearly 25 years.
As a member of a family who made their living in construction, Tom developed a deep connection for Floridians who worked hard with their hands for a living.
That connection stayed with Tom as he became a vice president in his family’s business. And in 1996, with the support of his friends and family, he ran for the Florida Senate to represent community and conservative values in Tallahassee.
A Conservative Reformer
Tom never forgot his roots when he went into public service. He first served in the Florida legislature from 1996-2006, working hard to protect hardworking taxpayers and the fruits of their labor, voting to cut taxes each of the 10 years he served in the Senate. Earning the respect of his colleagues through his determined leadership and straight talking style, he achieved the ultimate honor in 2004, when he was selected as president of the Florida Senate.
For two years, he served as president alongside conservative champions like Governor Jeb Bush and Speaker Allan Bense. And in those two years, they came together as a team to pass strong conservative reforms in a united, no-nonsense fashion.
In 2012, Tom decided to throw his hat into the ring one more time, running again for Florida Senate in order to continue spearheading conservative reforms.
Tom Lee currently serves as senator for Florida State Senate District 20, where he most recently received an ‘A’ rating from both the Florida Chamber of Commerce and Americans For Prosperity for his legislative successes. Tom also serves as a member of the Florida Constitution Revision Commission, working on behalf of voters to review and propose changes to the Florida Constitution.
True Conservative Leadership
- Cut Taxes: Tom Lee supported Jeb Bush’s historic $1 billion tax cut plan in 1999 and helped pass the permanent repeal of the “intangibles tax,” which taxed personal and retirement savings.
- Balancing Florida’s Budget the Right Way: Tom balanced Florida’s budget year in and year out while cutting taxes for families and job-creators every year that he served in the Senate.
- Excellence in Education: He supported Jeb Bush’s “A+ Plan” to raise standards, promote innovation and ensure accountability to improve Florida’s K-12 schools and our colleges and universities.
- Job-Saving Frivolous Lawsuit Reform: While Senate president, Tom helped pass the repeal of “joint and several liability,” a tort system that forced many businesses to needlessly fight frivolous lawsuits.
- Passed Ethics Reform: Tom passed sweeping reforms in 2005 that required lobbyists to disclose their income from their clients for the first time in Florida history.
- Successful Pro-Life Legislator: Tom Lee sponsored the first “Choose Life” license plate law to pass the Florida Legislature, supported Florida’s ban on partial-birth abortions, and as president helped pass Florida’s 2005 parental notification law - the first parental notification law to be held constitutional by state courts.
- Pro-Gun Rights: During his Senate presidency, Tom backed Florida’s landmark “Stand Your Ground” law.
- Tough On Crime: Tom supported Florida’s 10-20-Life and “Three strikes, you’re out” crime prevention bills.