ORMOND BEACH — A firm believer in the impact of being involved in a local community and volunteering, Thomas J. Leek is not a career politician.
A Republican, he recently declared his candidacy for the open Florida House of Representatives seat in District 25 because he understands how state decisions impact people locally, he told the Florida Record.
“I realized it was an opportunity to be a community leader at a new level,” said Leek, 47, of Ormond Beach. “From tax policy to economic development to education funding, I have a desire to be part of the process that helps navigate state policies that will benefit my community from afar, while also making our state stronger and more prosperous altogether.”
Volusia County citizens have that prosperity in mind as they prepare to vote for a new state representative, Leek said. Jobs were lost and businesses suffered in recent years.
“The rebound we’ve experienced will be short lived without a long-term solution and planning,” he said.
Leek is the managing partner and a commercial civil litigator at Cobb-Cole in Daytona Beach. He seeks the seat that will be vacated by Rep. Fred Costello, another Republican. He’s up against Cheryl Bickford, a Democrat; and Deborah Denys, a Republican.
Leek believes his 20 years living in the community and his varied involvement will help him represent the district. He manages the law firm, with approximately 20 attorneys, and has served in local business efforts, including chairing the Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Beyond economics, District 25 residents’ concerns look similar to other Florida communities, Leek said. They want to know that state spending on Medicaid, juvenile justice and natural resources meets their needs. Like voters across the nation, they “expect consistent conservative policy, not recycled ideas that haven't improved the status quo,” Leek said.
“People in Volusia County are as fed up as anyone at what often seems like a lack of results and bogus promises. They aren't content with false prophets, and their frustration with party politics is tangible and real. I'm sympathetic to that and hope to show them we can do things differently, and more efficiently with new blood,” he added. “I believe being a candidate who's never sought office before proves that my interest in this is sincere.”