Florida's 8th congressional district

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Florida's 8th congressional district
Florida's eighth congressional district - since January 3, 2013.
Florida's eighth congressional district - since January 3, 2013.
Current Representative Bill Posey (RRockledge)
Cook PVI R+8

Florida's 8th congressional district is an electoral district for the U.S. Congress and was reassigned in 2012, effective January 2013, from inland central Florida to the central Atlantic coast. The district includes all of Brevard County (including the Kennedy Space Center), as well as all of Indian River County and parts of Orange County.[1][2]

Currently, the residents of the Eighth District are represented by Republican Bill Posey who has held the seat since 2013.

List of representatives[edit]

Representative Party Years District home Notes
District created January 3, 1953
Donald Ray (Billy) Matthews.jpg Donald R. Matthews Democratic January 3, 1953 – January 3, 1967
William Cato Cramer.jpg William C. Cramer Republican January 3, 1967 – January 3, 1971 Redistricted from the 12th district
CW Bill Young Portrait.jpg Bill Young Republican January 3, 1971 – January 3, 1973 Redistricted to the 6th district
James A. Haley.jpg James A. Haley Democratic January 3, 1973 – January 3, 1977 Redistricted from the 7th district
Andy Ireland.jpg Andy Ireland Democratic January 3, 1977 – January 3, 1983 Redistricted to the 10th district
CW Bill Young Portrait.jpg Bill Young Republican January 3, 1983 – January 3, 1993 Redistricted from the 6th district, Redistricted to the 10th district
McCollum bio photo.jpg Bill McCollum Republican January 3, 1993 – January 3, 2001 Redistricted from the 5th district
Ric Keller2.jpeg Ric Keller Republican January 3, 2001 – January 3, 2009
Alan Grayson official photo 113th Congress.jpeg Alan Grayson Democratic January 3, 2009 – January 3, 2011
Daniel Webster, Official Portrait, 112th Congress.jpg Daniel Webster Republican January 3, 2011 – January 3, 2013 Redistricted to the 10th district
Bill Posey.jpg Bill Posey Republican January 3, 2013 – Redistricted from the 15th district

Voting[edit]

Election results from presidential races
Year Office Results
2008 President Obama 52 - 47%
2004 President Bush 55 - 44%
2000 President Bush 53 - 45%

Election results[edit]

1992 election[edit]

Incumbent Republican Bill McCollum (68.5%) won over Democrat Chuck Kovaleski (31.5%). McCollum, who previous served in FL-5 since 1981, was shifted to the 8th District after the redistricting.

1994 election[edit]

Incumbent Republican Bill McCollum ran unopposed in the mid-terms. His re-election was part of the 1994 Republican Revolution.

1996 election[edit]

Incumbent Republican Bill McCollum (67.47%) won easily over progressive Democrat and actor Al Krulick (32.52%).[1]

1998 election[edit]

Incumbent McCollum faced Krulick for the second time. McCollum won 66%-34%, a nearly identical margin from 1996. He won his seat for the tenth (and final) time. Despite some minor losses in the midterm for the GOP, McCollum was among the 15 Florida Republican incumbents who all won re-election.

2000 election[edit]

Twenty year veteran Republican incumbent Bill McCollum retired from the seat, to run (unsuccessfully) for the open Senate seat in Florida. The open seat in District 8 would be fought between former Orange County Commission Chairwoman Linda Chapin (Democrat) and attorney Ric Keller (Republican).

Keller endured a rough primary, which went to a runoff between himself and state representative Bill Sublette. Sublette had received the most votes in the September 5th primary (43.41%),[3] but not enough to avoid a runoff. On October 3rd, Keller flipped the results, and won the two-man primary 51.94%-48.06%.

Chapin quickly raised over $1.4 million in campaign contributions, more than Sublette and Keller combined. In the general election, Chapin touted her public experience over Keller, who was political newcomer and a virtual unknown. Keller attacked Chapin as anti-gun rights, and for a record of fiscal irresponsibility. He famously cited her spending of $18,500 in county funds for a bronze sculpture of a frog.

Keller narrowly won the traditionally republican-leaning district by a margin of 51% to 49%.[2]

Florida's 8th congressional district election, 2000
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Ric Keller 125,253 50.79%
Democratic Linda Chapin 121,295 49.19%
Write-ins Charlie Klein 39 0.02%
Write-ins Clay O. Hill 6 0.00%
Totals 246,593 100.00%
Republican hold

2002[edit]

After the 2001 Congressional re-apportionment, Florida's 8th District was redistricted from a near equal representation (Democrat-Republican) to one that included seven percent more Republicans than Democrats.

Keller readily won the 2002 Congressional election against Democrat Eddie Diaz, winning with 65% of the vote.

2004[edit]

In 2004 Keller won his third term with 60% of the vote against Democratic challenger Stephen Murray.

2006 election[edit]

In the 2006 election, Ric Keller was elected to his fourth two-year term, defeating Democrat Charlie Stuart, Independent Wes Hoaglund, and three write-in candidates.

Keller managed to hold on to his seat in the midst of a Democratic wave that was swept the country that November. Keller had been slipping in popularity, winning by lower margins in two consecutive elections. He also had been mildly lampooned by local media with the nickname "Cheeseburger Ric," for introducing the "Cheeseburger Bill" to the house floor in 2003 and again in 2005.

Florida's 8th congressional district election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Ric Keller (inc.) 95,258 52.79%
Democratic Charlie Stuart 82,526 45.73%
Independent Wes Hoaglund 2,640 1.46%
Write-ins 20 0.01%
Totals 180,444 100.00%
Republican hold

2008 election[edit]

Despite a prior pledge to serve only four terms, Congressman Ric Keller was running for his fifth term in the House of Representatives. Todd Long, a conservative Orlando attorney and radio talk show host, announced he would challenge Keller in the Republican primary, promising to make an issue of the broken term-limits pledge.[4] The Keller-Long primary fight intensified over the summer, with Keller's term limit retraction, as well as his vote against The Surge[5] making him increasingly vulnerable to defeat. However, just days before the August 26 primary, Keller sent out a mailer exposing Long's arrest record, a DUI, and another trespass warning.[6] Keller won the primary with a 53%-47% margin,[7] but his reputation took a hit, as many saw the mailer as a political "dirty trick."

Keller's Democratic opponent was attorney and progressive activist Alan Grayson, who emerged as the surprise victor of a large Democratic primary field which included moderate Democrat and long-time Central Florida political operative Charlie Stuart, attorney Mike Smith, engineer Alexander Fry, and recent law school graduate Quoc Van.

Grayson defeated Keller in the November general election receiving 52% of the vote, the same share as Barack Obama on the top of the ballot. Democratic activists in the district had mounted an aggressive campaign to register traditionally Democratic union workers and an increasing Hispanic (primarily Puerto Rican) demographic in the district. The general election was heated, with "mudslinging" and attack ads by both sides on television and in mailers.[3][4] The race gained considerable national attention.

Florida's 8th congressional district election, 2008[8]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Alan Grayson 172,854 52.0%
Republican Ric Keller (incumbent) 159,490 48.0%
Totals 332,244 100.00%
Democratic gain from Republican

2010 election[edit]

Freshman Democrat incumbent Alan Grayson ran unopposed for the nomination, while the Republican side was won by former State Senate Majority Leader and Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives Daniel Webster. After less than two years in congress, Grayson had become known as a firebrand liberal and outspoken critic on the House floor, often to the point of controversy even from members of his own party. GOP leaders early on targeted Grayson and this district, which had traditionally leaned republican, for challenge in the mid-term election.

Daniel Webster had initially rejected the suggestions by the Florida GOP to run for the seat, but in April 2010, he changed his mind and entered the race. Webster's name recognition and endorsements from Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee helped him emerge as the front-runner. Webster won the GOP primary on August 24, 2010, defeating six other candidates, with 40% of the vote.

In the general election, Webster ran a traditional, conservative family values-based campaign. However, Grayson had a deep war chest fueled by a nationwide campaign fundraising network.[9] Grayson ran attack ads, calling Webster a "draft-dodger"[10] (Webster had received student deferments and a draft classification as medically unfit for service),[11] and another calling Webster "Taliban Dan" for his perceived extreme right religious views on social issues.[12]

Grayson's attack ads were criticized,[13] and observers suggest they ultimately backfired.[14] With just days left before voters went to the polls, Grayson was considered increasingly vulnerable to defeat. On election day, Webster defeated Grayson soundly by an 18-point margin, part of a sweeping 63-seat gain by House Republicans in the midterm election.

General Election
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Daniel Webster 123,464 56.13%
Democratic Alan Grayson 84,036 38.20%
Florida TEA Party Peg Dunmire 8,324 3.78%
Independent George Metcalfe 4,140 1.88%
No party Steven Gerritzen (write-in)  %
Totals 219,964 100%
Republican gain from Democratic

2012 election[edit]

Previous incumbent Daniel Webster was redistricted to run instead for the 10th district. The "new" District 8 would comprise areas that formerly made up the 15th district.

Bill Posey, effectively running as the incumbent, won re-election with nearly 60% of the vote against Democratic nominee Shannon Roberts and non-partisan candidate Richard Gillmor.[15]

Florida 8th Congressional District 2012 [16]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bill Posey (Incumbent) 205,432 58.9%
Democratic Shannon Roberts 130,870 37.5%
No Party Affiliation Richard Gillmor 12,607 3.6%
Totals 348,909 100.0%

Historical district boundaries[edit]

From 1993 through 2012, the district was based inland within central Florida. It took in parts of Orange County (including Walt Disney World and most of Orlando), Lake County, Marion County and Osceola County.

In 2012, effective January 2013, the 8th district was reassigned to the Atlantic coast, with Brevard County and Indian River County, plus the east end of Orange County and Orlando. It is geographically the successor to the old 15th district.

2003 - 2013

References[edit]

  1. ^ See whole Florida state map for 2013, with the 8th district covering Brevard County and Indian River County: h9047_35x42L.pdf Congressional Plan: H000C9047. Chapter No. 2012-2, Laws of Florida. www.flsenate.gov. February 16, 2012.
  2. ^ See the 2013 boundaries of the 8th district, covering Brevard County and eastern Orange and Indian River County in the 2013 districts map: H000C9047_map_ec.pdf, for the eastern central region of Florida. Congressional Plan: H000C9047. Chapter No. 2012-2, Laws of Florida. www.flsenate.gov. February 2012.
  3. ^ 2000 U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES RESULTS
  4. ^ Rachel Kapochunas, "Keller’s Early ‘08 Opponent Focusing on Broken Term Limit Pledge", New York Times, December 5, 2006
  5. ^ Ric Keller faces tight race after pair of costly decisions
  6. ^ Keller: GOP rival has booze history
  7. ^ Florida Rep. Keller Gets Primary Scare
  8. ^ "Florida Department of State Division of Elections - November 4, 2008 General Election". Secretary of State of Florida. Retrieved 2009-01-17. 
  9. ^ Roll Call - Florida 8th District
  10. ^ Mark Schlueb Alan Grayson TV ad calls Dan Webster a draft dodger Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 9/26/10
  11. ^ Will: America's Worst Politician
  12. ^ Mark Schlueb (9/26/10) Grayson TV ad compares Webster to Taliban Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 9/26/10.
  13. ^ FactCheck.org : Rep. Grayson Lowers the Bar
  14. ^ Rep. Alan Grayson's 'Taliban' ad backfires – Andy Barr – POLITICO.com
  15. ^ "Posey wins 3rd term in House". Florida TODAY. Retrieved 7 November 2012. 
  16. ^ "Florida Department of State Division of Elections - November 6, 2012 General Election". Secretary of State of Florida. Retrieved 2013-03-09. 

Coordinates: 28°09′53″N 80°41′56″W / 28.16472°N 80.69889°W / 28.16472; -80.69889