Deep Seminole County Roots
Lee and his family moved to Seminole County in 1958. His mother and father were the founders of
Maryland Fried Chicken and opened the first store in Fern Park. Lee started at the age of 12 washing
dishes and by 16 Lee had become the store manager of the Sanford restaurant.
Their first house was on Bear Lake Road in Forest City where the family did not even have air conditioning
until he was 14. During high school, they moved to Longwood where he graduated from Lyman High School
and was captain of the swim team. That began his commitment to the Seminole County public school system.
Lee put himself through UCF by using the money he saved from working in high school, a part time job
and scholarships. While at UCF, Lee was elected Student Body President. After graduation, he settled in
Altamonte Springs where he lives today. Lee’s parents taught him patriotism, faith in God and hard work –
virtues Lee still treasures today.
A Conservative Republican and Public Servant
Lee’s first elected position was as Commissioner of Altamonte Springs. With Lee’s leadership, Altamonte
Springs improved its financial situation so dramatically that the city was able to build the APRICOT water
reuse project without state help and create UPTOWN ALTAMONTE WITHOUT ADDITIONAL TAXES.
As a part of the Republican revolution in Florida, Lee served on House Speaker Dan Webster’s leadership
team when the Republicans took over the House. As a State Representative, Lee worked with Governor Jeb
Bush to pass the largest back-to-back tax cuts in Florida history, the “3-strikes and you’re out” laws and the
A+ education plan.
After being elected State Senator, Lee continued to support our conservative values by eliminating the
intangibles tax. Knowing that job creation was critical, Lee was instrumental in bringing the UCF Medical
School and the Burnham Institute for Medical Research to Central Florida. As Chairman of the Wekiva River
Basin Committee, Lee set the standard for making sure creating jobs, transportation solutions and protecting
the environment worked hand in hand. Today, that committee is used as a model for complex problem
Senator Constantine is one of the Central Florida region’s most powerful and influential individuals, acknowledged for his outstanding talent for brokering compromise, leadership in higher education and mastery of the complicated state budget process.
Throughout his legislative career, Senator Constantine has sponsored numerous ground-breaking bills. These include Save Our Everglades (1997-2000), The Florida Unified Building Code (1998,2000), The Florida Forever Program (1999), Payday Loans Reform (2001), Affordable Housing-Front Porch Florida (2002), Growth Management (2002, 2006), Pre-K Education and Class Size Reduction (2003), The Wekiva Parkway and Protection Act (2004), The Florida Telecommunication Act (2005), the establishment of the medical school at UCF (2006), the Florida Energy Act (2006&2008). In recent years he sponsored legislation regarding Florida’s Energy Building Codes, major Election Reform, Physical Education in elementary and middle schools and the Jennifer Kesse & Tiffany Sessions Missing Persons Act. In the 2009 Special Session, as the prime co-sponsor, he spearheaded the successful effort to bring SunRail to Central Florida.
In 2010, Senator Constantine sponsored bills that protected Florida’s water resources and springs, placed in motion a state recycling policy to achieve a 75% recycling goal by 2020, protected our citizens and wildlife from Reptiles of Concern and protected consumers who purchased gift cards/certificates from fraud.
Lee Constantine’s passion for community service is best displayed as Founder and Director of Charity Challenge, Inc., established in 1987. Since its inception, Charity Challenge has evolved from a small backyard event into the largest independent charity in Central Florida, raising nearly $5million dollars for hundreds of Florida charities.
Recently, Senator Constantine was reappointed by the Governor to serve his third term as Chairman of the Wekiva River Basin Commission, honoring his commitment to protect the Wekiva River while building the beltway around Central Florida. In addition, he also serves as a business consultant on a wide range of issues for high level corporations and government agencies.