Florida's 8th congressional district
|Florida's 8th congressional district|
|Current Representative||Bill Posey (R–Rockledge)|
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.
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.
List of representatives
|District created January 3, 1953|
|Donald R. Matthews||Democratic||January 3, 1953 – January 3, 1967|
|William C. Cramer||Republican||January 3, 1967 – January 3, 1971||Redistricted from the 12th district|
|Bill Young||Republican||January 3, 1971 – January 3, 1973||Redistricted to the 6th district|
|James A. Haley||Democratic||January 3, 1973 – January 3, 1977||Redistricted from the 7th district|
|Andy Ireland||Democratic||January 3, 1977 – January 3, 1983||Redistricted to the 10th district|
|Bill Young||Republican||January 3, 1983 – January 3, 1993||Redistricted from the 6th district, Redistricted to the 10th district|
|Bill McCollum||Republican||January 3, 1993 – January 3, 2001||Redistricted from the 5th district|
|Ric Keller||Republican||January 3, 2001 – January 3, 2009|
|Alan Grayson||Democratic||January 3, 2009 – January 3, 2011|
|Daniel Webster||Republican||January 3, 2011 – January 3, 2013||Redistricted to the 10th district|
|Bill Posey||Republican||January 3, 2013 –||Redistricted from the 15th district|
|Election results from presidential races|
|2008||President||Obama 52 - 47%|
|2004||President||Bush 55 - 44%|
|2000||President||Bush 53 - 45%|
Four-term 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.
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%.
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.
In 2004 Keller won his third term with 60% of the vote against Democratic challenger Stephen Murray.
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|
|Republican||Ric Keller (inc.)||95,258||52.79%|
Despite a prior pledge to serve only four terms, Congressman Ric Keller was running for his fifth term in the House of Representatives. He narrowly defeated Orlando attorney and local radio talk show host Todd Long in the Republican primary election held on August 26, 2008. His Democratic opponent was attorney and progressive activist Alan Grayson, who emerged as the surprise victor of the 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 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.
|Florida's 8th congressional district election, 2008|
|Republican||Ric Keller (incumbent)||159,490||48.0%|
|Democratic gain from Republican|
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. Grayson ran attack ads, calling Webster a "draft-dodger" (Webster had received student deferments and a draft classification as medically unfit for service), and another calling Webster "Taliban Dan" for his perceived extreme right religious views on social issues.
Grayson's attack ads were criticized, and observers suggest they ultimately backfired. 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.
|Florida TEA Party||Peg Dunmire||8,324||3.78%|
|No party||Steven Gerritzen (write-in)||%|
|Republican gain from Democratic|
- 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.
- 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.
- "Florida Department of State Division of Elections - November 4, 2008 General Election". Secretary of State of Florida. Retrieved 2009-01-17.
- Roll Call - Florida 8th District
- Mark Schlueb Alan Grayson TV ad calls Dan Webster a draft dodger Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 9/26/10
- Will: America's Worst Politician
- Mark Schlueb (9/26/10) Grayson TV ad compares Webster to Taliban Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 9/26/10.
- FactCheck.org : Rep. Grayson Lowers the Bar
- Rep. Alan Grayson's 'Taliban' ad backfires – Andy Barr – POLITICO.com
- "Posey wins 3rd term in House". Florida TODAY. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
- Martis, Kenneth C. (1989). The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
- Martis, Kenneth C. (1982). The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
- Congressional Biographical Directory of the United States 1774–present