Debbie Hannifan is a Lakeland native and life-long Republican, her first taste of campaign work began as teenager when her dad ran for Lakeland City Commission. Being raised in a home where community involvement was expected and Republican principles were revered, Debbie brings a unique mix of conservative values and servant leadership to any role in which she serves.
Debbie’s love of campaign work resurfaced as an adult and she has been an engaged campaign volunteer since the 2004 Presidential Election. She has been heavily involved in Polk County Republican Party for the past decade, specifically serving on the Executive Committee for the past five years serving as an officer and board member. In 2012, Debbie was elected as the Republican State Committeewoman representing Polk County on the Republican Party of Florida.
At the state level, Debbie currently serves on the Budget Committee and has previously served on the Legislative Affairs Committee, Community Outreach Committee, Ethics Committee, and various other ad-hoc and other caucus committees. In recognition of her demonstrated leadership and hard work, she has been elected by her peers to serve as the Chair of Congressional District 15 Caucus and thereby serves on the Executive Board of the Republican Party of Florida.Debbie served as a delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention and as one of Florida’s Twenty-Nine Electoral Voters to elect President Donald J. Trump.
Debbie and her husband Jay have been married for twenty-five years and have ninetween year old twin sons, Nathan and Noah. Their family live in a historic home in South Lake Morton Neighborhood. In the time between, Debbie enjoys trips to the beach, running with friends, and gardening in her butterly garden.
Born and raised in Hardee County, graduated FSU with a major in Social Work and minor in Education. My life followed an educational path after teaching two years on the space coast then joined DOD and taught on Air Force bases in England, Germany, and Japan, in the late 60’s and early 70’s.After leaving DOD I returned to live in Atlanta where I met and married the father of my two beautiful daughters. Michele, finance major, is married and lives in Orlando and Mia, a speech therapist, a former member of the Lakeland YR’s now lives in Willington, NC.Shortly after Michele was born we moved to Jamestown, NC. Where I started my own retail business and made buying trips to Atlanta and New York. Local TV stations featured me and my shop on their morning news shows.After a bitter divorce I returned to my roots in Florida with my girls and began teaching for another 22 years in Hardee and Polk County. I moved from Wauchula to Lakeland in 1992 and joined the local Republican clubs and was active on many campaigns including Jeb’s, Dennis Ross, Adam Putnam’s and Paula Dockery’s.Since retirement this past June as a reading specialist I am looking forward to working with Missy and serving in the RWC of Lakeland to promote conservative values and assist getting good candidates elected.