Rep. Dennis Ross, the Lakeland Republican thought to have retired from politics even though he's not termed out, will run for a different Polk County House seat and likely will be back next year. The opening was created when Rep. John Stargel decided to leave the Legislature and run for a circuit judgeship -- one of the 55 new seats that the Supreme Court ruled last week must be filled by election, not appointment. The Ledger of Lakeland reported the big switch in Thursday's editions.
Ross, who served as chairman of the House Insurance Committee the past two years, is well-liked by his colleagues in both parties. He now holds the District 63 seat, and briefly considered running for chief financial officer this fall, which cleared the path for Republican Seth McKeel to run for his seat. Ross will have to move north to represent the District 64 seat now held by Stargel.