The current Federal Democratic Candidates that are running to represent the citizens of Lake County and surrounding areas that are within their district are as follows:

The following list of potential and declared candidates is unofficial. It will be updated after the candidate filing deadline has passed and the official list of candidates becomes available.

U.S. Senate

Bill Nelson For Senate – D



Nelson was born in Miami and spent his youth in Melbourne, FL, where he attended Melbourne High School.

Nelson attended the University of Florida before transferring to Yale University. He subsequently received a law degree from the University of Virginia. In 1965, he joined the U.S. Army Reserve; he served on active duty from 1968 to 1970, attaining the rank of captain, and he remained in the Army until 1971. Nelson was admitted to the Florida bar in 1968, and began practicing law in Melbourne in 1970.

In 1986, Nelson became the second sitting member of U.S. Congress (and the first member of the House) to travel into space. He went through NASA training with Senator Jake Garn of Utah. He was a Payload Specialist on Space Shuttle Columbia’s STS-61-C mission from January 12-18, 1986.

2000-Present: U.S. Senator from Florida
1994-2000: Treasurer, Insurance Commissioner, and Fire Marshall of Florida
1978-1991: U.S. House of Representatives
1972-1978: Florida House of Representatives




Tamika Lyles For Senate – D


I am running for Senate to ensure that every Floridian has all of the tools required to achieve their American Dream. By representing our great values, I will work tirelessly to benefit you, your community and our beautiful Sunshine State. Together, we will empower Florida and set the standard for the rest of the country.



Randy White For Senate – D


Author, Public Speaker, Philanthropist, Radical Activist & multi-faceted prosperity coach.


U.S. House of Representatives

District 6

Nancy Soderberg for Congress – D


The politicians in Washington seem to have forgotten what’s at stake.

In Congress, I’ll fight to make sure your voice is heard. I’ll focus on growing our economy, helping small business, making college more affordable and protecting our environment. And I’ll work to balance the budget the right way. I believe we can come together and focus on issues that matter. I’ll work every day to keep America safe and secure — and ensure that America is a leader in facing today’s challenges.

You have a real choice in this election — business as usual — or a new voice and a new conversation.



John Upchurch for Congress – D


He was a business attorney who became a small business owner and now operates Odyssey Travel, a travel agency with locations in Ormond Beach and Jacksonville. Upchurch believes “our community needs stronger representation in Washington by someone who knows our area inside and out”

“I will put a premium on civility, diplomacy and statesmanship and I will nail my door open to welcome constituents, colleagues and even opponents in an effort to govern not just onward but upward.”



Stephen Sevigny for Congress – D


There are some phrases you often hear from candidates and elected officials. The sentiment behind many of these phrases are often good and true, and the concepts reflected by them often reflect what pundits, pollsters, and focus groups tell us people want to hear, or how they expect our government to act.

As a first-time candidate, I can already see where some of those phrases don’t match reality. Where the words fall well short of what our communities need. What our nation requires. What it means to be a leader.



District 11


Dana Cottrell for Congress – D


Dana was born in Queens, New York, and moved to Florida in 1988. She graduated from the University of South Florida with an undergraduate degree in education, and a graduate degree in library and information science.

Dana has taught in Hernando County for twelve years, and overseas for the Department of Defense Dependent Schools for thirteen years.

It has always been her dream to help others and make the world a better place for all. She has worked toward this goal through her teaching career, and now, she hopes to continue by serving the constituents of District 11.

Dana Cottrell, a wife, a mom, a teacher, a woman, an American.



District 15

Raymond Pena for Congress -D


I believe in the principle of reciprocity as an attribute of a true leader. My Puerto Rican father and Cuban mother taught me from an early age to give back to my community and country. 

I served my country in the United States Coast Guard from 1974 to 1978. After receiving an honorable discharge from the military, I entered into the next phase of my life of public service by first becoming a police officer first with the Metropolitan Police Department, District of Columbia, and then with the San Jose Police Department in California.

While working as a police officer I went back to school and earned two educational degrees. The first is an Associates of Arts in Public Safety and Administration of Justice and the second is a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice Management.

In 2002, I was assigned to the Bureau of Investigations, Family Violence Unit. As a criminal investigator, I represented many victims of domestic violence by giving them a voice in the criminal justice process. In 2007, after a thirty-three year career, I retired as a police detective. In 2010, I received my FAA Certified Flight Instructor Certificate and created Guardian Aviation LLC in Winter Haven, Florida.

In 2015, after my wife retired from the University of Puerto Rico, we moved to Lakeland, Florida where we decided to live for its location, its people, and its future.



Andrew Learned for Congress – D


Andrew is a veteran US Navy Officer, owner of a neighborhood learning center, and he lives, works, and is from here in the District. He’s running for Congress to fight for a better future for all of us living along the I-4 Corridor.

For the past year, Andrew has been campaigning on a simple message, to bring a new generation of leadership to Washington. The politics of the past, the dysfunction, and good ol’ boy networks have held our community back. It’s time for a change. He has already succeeded because now Dennis Ross has chosen to not seek re-election.

Andrew is a Democrat who wants to fight for working families, not the special interests. He wants to be the first representative in the Tampa Bay region who is a veteran himself and will fight for our military, their families, and our veterans. We are fighting for better & more affordable healthcare, the protection of our earned benefits like Social Security and Medicare, and a new future of investment in our local economy.



Kristen Carlson for Congress – D


Kristen Carlson graduated from Stetson Law School in 1977 and has been fighting for the people of Florida since. She started out as a prosecutor and then went to work for the Department of Citrus fighting to ensure Florida’s vital crop was protected.

“I’ve tried to make Florida a better place by working with others to get results, and I’m going to take the same approach to Congress.”