War of words erupts between Florida Democratic lawmakers over residency claims

A fiery exchange unfolded Wednesday between former State Senator Randolph Bracy and current Senator Geraldine Thompson, both Democrats. The dispute centered on allegations that Thompson does not reside in the district she represents.

At a news conference, Bracy announced his intent to file a lawsuit accusing Thompson, his primary opponent, of living outside District 15. Thompson, elected in 2022, allegedly resides in a home in Windermere, which falls within District 13.

"Leaders can't lead if they're in denial themselves," Bracy asserted, emphasizing his claim. "There's no record she has lived anywhere but this home in Windermere."

Bracy detailed the property in his lawsuit, alleging Thompson’s violation of Florida law. He called for her to either run in another district or withdraw from the race, insisting, "The truth is she doesn't live in the district."

FOX 35 News corroborated Bracy's claim by locating the Windermere home in Orange County Property Records, confirming its placement in District 13.

Thompson, however, crashed Bracy’s press conference, taking the podium with Bracy's permission. She admitted owning the Windermere home but stated she has lived with her daughter in Ocoee, which is within District 15, for the past few years.

Former State Rep. Randolph Bracy, III (left) and State Rep. Geraldine Thompson.

"It's not about performance. It's about ego," Thompson charged, suggesting Bracy's lawsuit is retaliation over a failed romantic pursuit involving her family. 

Bracy vehemently denied these allegations, arguing that his actions were motivated by truth, not revenge.

Thompson maintained her readiness to prove her residency if Bracy moves forward with the lawsuit.


"When and if it comes to a senate hearing, I have documentation that shows where I pay expenses in Senate District 15," she declared, though she did not provide an address for her Ocoee home.

She indicated that her voter registration records would confirm her residence.

FOX 35 contacted the Orange County Supervisor of Elections and the State of Florida for additional information but has not received a response.

John Hanley, a political science lecturer at the University of Central Florida, explained that the homestead exemption rules differ from those concerning residency for representation purposes. He suggested that Thompson might successfully argue her case if she demonstrates a consistent pattern of living in District 15.

"[It's] reasonable to make the assumption that that is legitimately her legal residence and that she should be allowed to continue to represent that district," Hanley stated.