(Ormond Beach, Fla.) – Today, the Tom Leek for State Senate campaign announced the endorsements of State Attorney of the Seventh Judicial Circuit R.J. Larizza and Public Defender of the Seventh Judicial Circuit Matthew Metz in conservative Republican State Rep. Tom Leek’s (R-Ormond Beach) bid for Florida’s open Senate District 7 seat, currently held by Sen. Travis Hutson (R-Palm Coast), who is term-limited.

State Attorney of the Seventh Judicial Circuit R.J. Larizza

“It is critical for our judicial branch to have the tools and resources needed to uphold the rule of law, and the endorsement of State Attorney R.J. Larizza motivates me to continue advocating for a fair and balanced judicial system as a member of the Florida Senate,” said Rep. Leek.

State Attorney of the Seventh Judicial Circuit R.J. Larizza previously worked in the Florida Department of Corrections for almost 13 years, then as an Assistant State Attorney and pursued a private practice career before successfully running for the office of State Attorney. He shared the following in support of Rep. Leek’s campaign: “I am proud to support Tom Leek in his bid for state Senate. He recognizes the complex needs of the state of Florida, including maintaining law and order and a firm, trustworthy criminal justice system, and his leadership in the Florida Legislature has already proven he has a unique understanding of the responsibility that comes with public office— and it is a responsibility he bears well,” said State Attorney Larizza.

Seventh Judicial Circuit Matthew Metz

“I am immensely grateful for Public Defender Matthew Metz’s endorsement,” said State Rep. Leek. “He believes in the importance of defending the rights of all Floridians and advocating for an effective and just legal system—principles I have also sought to uphold for Floridians while in public office,” he concluded.

Public Defender of the Seventh Judicial Circuit Matthew Metz was felony division chief over the seventh judicial circuit before being elected to public defender in 2020. He shared the following in support of Rep. Leek’s campaign: “It has been a privilege to work with Rep. Tom Leek, representing Volusia County these last eight years, and I strongly support his campaign to continue his dedicated service in the state Senate. Tom Leek is a man who defends liberty, upholds constitutional rights, and strives to represent his constituents well and I know will continue to exemplify these characteristics through his continued service in the Florida Legislature,” said Public Defender Metz.

About State Representative Tom Leek

State Rep. Tom Leek was first elected to serve State House District 25 in 2016, and after redistricting re-elected in State House District 28 in 2022. A graduate of the University of Central Florida and Stetson University College of Law, Leek resides in Ormond Beach with his wife Michelle. They are the parents of two daughters.

Tom Leek

Tom Leek, recognized quickly in the House as a conservative leader, has the distinction of having served as a committee chairman and on the leadership team of the last three Speakers in the Florida House during his tenure. He currently works with Speaker Paul Renner as Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and has previously chaired the Public Ethics and Integrity Committee, the Pandemics and Public Emergencies Committee and the Redistricting Committee.

Leek’s accomplishments in the Florida House include landmark legislation in establishing Florida as the most law enforcement-friendly state in the union by strengthening their ability to recruit, retain and reward our police officers. He passed important legislation relating to emergency management and in banning “vaccine passports.” As a trusted member of House leadership, he has worked on many of the conservative advances of the past few years in school choice, economic development and important social issues that strengthen the family.

Tom Leek is the Chief Legal Officer and Executive Vice President of Foundation Risk Partners, Corp., a national insurance brokerage. He joined the company in 2018, after a 21-year career at the law firm of Cobb Cole in Daytona Beach, where he led the firm as managing partner.

Leek announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination in Senate District 7 on January 4, 2023. District 7 is comprised of Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns, and parts of Volusia Counties. Tom Leek has been endorsed by current State Senator Travis Hutson, all four sheriffs within SD 7 (Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly, Putman County Sheriff H.D. ‘Gator’ DeLoach, St. Johns County Sheriff Robert Hardwick, and Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood), U.S. Representatives Michael Waltz and Cory Mills, along with State Attorney R.J. Larizza and Public Defender Matthew Metz, both of the Seventh Judicial Circuit. Senator Hutson is vacating the seat in 2024 due to term limits.

For additional information, please go to https://www.VoteTomLeek.com/