Businessman Taylor Yarkosky will run for a House seat being vacated by controversial state Rep. Anthony Sabatini.

“This morning we delivered paperwork to the Florida Division of Elections to begin my campaign for State Representative, District 32,” Yarkosky wrote on Twitter. “I have lived, built multiple businesses, and raised a family in Lake County since 2004. I’m honored to have support from many local leaders.”

Sabatini announced on Monday he’s running for Congress and filed for the seat held now by Rep. Dan Webster. That’s an earlier departure than expected from state politics since Sabatini is in a second term and had previously filed for reelection. This opens the seat four years early.

The Lake County Republican launched his bid Friday by announcing a list of major backers for his bid in House District 32.

Yarkosky’s supporters include Rep. Keith Truenow, Lake County Sheriff Peyton Grinnell and Lake County Commissioners Sean Parks, Doug Shields and Kirby Smith.

“I am proud to see Taylor begin this journey,” said Truenow, a Tavares Republican now representing neighboring House District 31. “It is truly remarkable to serve the people of Lake County, and it is an honor to support his candidacy for State Representative.”

Grinnell considers Yarkosky a friend of law enforcement.

“Taylor is a strong community and business leader who is dedicated to keeping our community safe,” the Sheriff said. “Without question, Taylor will always stand up for the men and women of law enforcement. He proudly stands for law and order, and I am proud to stand with him. Taylor has my full support, and I look forward to him representing us in the State House.”

A majority of county commissioners in Lake County, which includes the entirety of HD 32, also heaped praise.

“I consider him a dear friend. Taylor is a natural leader who inspires people to dream big and achieve excellence,” said Parks, the current Commission chair. “Lake County and the State of Florida will greatly benefit from Taylor’s business acumen and experience. As a job creator himself, I know Taylor strongly supports small businesses, economic growth, and good infrastructure. We can count on him to promote policies that strengthen our quality of life by protecting our water resources and prioritizing public safety.”

“Taylor is a take-charge guy and has a firm grasp of the issues,” added Shields. “He will be a great asset to our county and state. I’m proud to give him my full support.”

Said Smith: “Taylor is a successful businessman and job creator. He will always understand how his vote in Tallahassee will impact us here at home, and he will always fight for our interests. Taylor will serve our community well as our State Representative. I’m proud to endorse him.”

Yarkosky describes himself as a constitutional conservative and family man.

As of the book closing before November’s elections, the district leaned heavily to the right, with 58,989 registered Republicans and 47,001 Democrats. The district covers South Lake County and stretches from Leesburg past Clermont and south to the Polk County line. That includes citrus-heavy communities and many groves-turned-subdivisions providing housing for many working in and around the Disney area. Clermont, Groveland, Minneola and several other small communities fall entirely within the district.

Democrat Stephanie Dukes had already filed for the seat. She intended to challenge Sabatini, and won the Democratic nomination in 2020 as well, but lost by more than 11 percentage points in the General Election.

Yarkosky is the first Republican candidate to jump into the race. In 2018, Sabatini emerged from a three-Republican primary field that included Shannon Elswick and Monica Wofford.

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