breaking battlegrounds

129 Podcast: Congresswoman Laurel Lee on the Border, Ukraine, and Elections

Congresswoman Laurel Lee
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Breaking Battlegrounds Official Podcasts
129 Podcast: Congresswoman Laurel Lee on the Border, Ukraine, and Elections

This week on Breaking Battlegrounds, we are joined by Congresswoman Laurel Lee of Florida’s 15th Congressional District and Doug Kelly, CEO of the American Edge Project.

Congresswoman Laurel Lee proudly represents the 15th District of Florida. Prior to her election to the U.S. House of Representatives, she served as Florida’s 36th Secretary of State under the DeSantis Administration from January 2019 to May 2022.

Congresswoman Laurel Lee was sworn into office in the United States House of Representatives on January 3, 2023.  She proudly represents the 15th District of Florida which encompasses eastern Hillsborough county including Thonotosassa and Plant City, and part of Brandon, as well as parts of Pasco and Polk counties including Zephyrhills and west Lakeland.

A wife, mother, and daughter of a two-star general in the United States Air Force, Laurel is committed to ensuring that the 15th District of Florida’s voice is represented in Congress. Laurel grew up in a military family, born at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. As a life-long public servant, Laurel is focused on bringing common-sense solutions to Washington that will encourage job growth, limit government overreach, secure our borders, and bolster our economic and national security. 

Prior to her election to the U.S. House of Representatives, Laurel served as Florida’s 36th Secretary of State under the DeSantis Administration from January 2019 to May 2022. During her tenure, she worked to strengthen Florida’s elections infrastructure and cybersecurity defenses and ensured accurate and secure elections in the state. From 2013-2019, Laurel served as a Circuit Court Judge in Florida’s Thirteenth Judicial Court in Hillsborough County, appointed by then-Governor Rick Scott. Before becoming a judge, she served as a federal prosecutor for the United States Attorney’s Office in the Middle District of Florida. As a federal prosecutor, she investigated and litigated False Claims Act cases and initiated and prosecuted a wide range of criminal offenses, including white-collar crime, violent crime, and offenses involving the sexual exploitation of children. 

Laurel serves on House Judiciary and Homeland Security Committees. Her main focus on these committees includes government accountability and transparency and protecting our nation from threats both abroad and at home. 

During her first week in office, Laurel introduced the REINS Act to remove burdensome government regulations for Floridians. This legislation reins in harmful regulations, limits executive overreach, and protects all Americans from unelected and unchecked Washington bureaucrats. 

Laurel is a graduate of the University of Florida where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in 1996 and received her law degree in 1999.

Laurel lives in eastern Hillsborough County with her husband, Tom, and their three children. 

Doug Kelly is the CEO of the American Edge Project, a coalition dedicated to the proposition that American innovators are an essential part of U.S. economic health, national security and individual freedoms.

Doug’s lived experience drew him to American Edge’s mission. Raised in a small Michigan town that lost 43 percent of its manufacturing jobs over two decades, he saw firsthand the painful consequences of what happens when policymakers don’t vigorously protect what gives our country and our communities a competitive edge.

Concerned that lawmakers were making the same mistake with the U.S. technology industry, Doug joined AEP as Chief Executive Officer in September 2021 to spearhead AEP’s effort to protect America’s technology innovation edge.

An accomplished, values-driven executive, Doug has spent his entire career as a relentless force for good in transforming lives at the national, state, and local levels. He brings to AEP a deep background in politics, advocacy, technology, and organization building.

For 20 years, he served in senior leadership roles in the political sector, deeply engaged in Presidential, Gubernatorial, and other statewide campaigns. Over his career, Doug has successfully led three separate large-scale transformation efforts in technology, organization building, and fundraising.

Doug also served as President & CEO of Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky, & Indiana, the largest chapter of Make-A-Wish in the country and also founded a strategic consulting firm, Big Change Strategies, which coached executives to higher performance and developed growth and impact strategies for advocacy and nonprofit organizations.

Doug lives in Columbus, Ohio, with his wife, Linda. He has two college-aged children and a faithful pound dog named Tony, who has an endless appetite for chew toys and trail running.


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