Charles Van Zant

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Charles Van Zant
Charles Van Zant.jpg
Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 19th district
Assumed office
November 20, 2012
Preceded by Mike Weinstein
Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 21st district
In office
November 18, 2008 – November 20, 2012
Preceded by Joe Pickens
Succeeded by Keith Perry
Personal details
Born (1943-11-24) November 24, 1943 (age 73)
Jacksonville, Florida
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Katherine
Children Michael
Charles, Jr.
Residence Keystone Heights
Alma mater University of Florida (B.Des.)
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div.)
Western Baptist Theological Seminary (D.Th.)
Profession Architect

Charles E. Van Zant (born November 24, 1943) is an American architect and Southern Baptist minister who serves as a Republican member of the Florida House of Representatives, representing the 19th District, which includes Bradford County, Putnam County, Union County, and southern Clay County, since 2012, previously representing the 21st District from 2008 to 2012.


Van Zant was born in Jacksonville and attended Stetson University before graduating from the University of Florida with a degree in architecture in 1968. Upon graduation, he founded Van Zant Associates, an architecture firm, which he continues to own. Van Zant attended the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he received a Master of Divinity degree, and the Western Baptist Theological Seminary, where he received a Doctorate of Theology degree.[1] In addition to working as an architect, he has served as the pastor of multiple churches, included the First Baptist Church of Keystone Heights and Trinity Baptist Church. Van Zant was appointed to the Clay County School Board in 2007 by Governor Charlie Crist, and served as its Vice-Chairman.[2]

Florida House of Representatives[edit]

When incumbent State Representative Joe Pickens was unable to seek re-election due to term limits, Van Zant ran to succeed him in the 21st District, which included a swath of territory in North Florida, specifically, southern Bradford County, southern Clay County, northern Lake County, eastern Marion County, Putnam County, and northwestern Volusia County. In the Republican primary, he emerged narrowly victorious over Christopher France and Patricia Freeman. Van Zant faced Linda Myers, a Putnam County Commissioner and the Democratic nominee, who identified as a conservative Democrat. Groups supporting Myers attacked Van Zant for tax evasion, and group supporting Van Zant attacked Myers for funding a "road to nowhere" and for tax increases; both candidates rejected each other's claims.[3] Though they agreed on a number of issues, including the need to create jobs, allowing oil drilling off the coast of the state and replacing the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, they vehemently disagreed as to which of them was the most qualified to handle the issues of contention.[4] Van Zant narrowly defeated Myers, winning by fewer than 2,000 votes, with 51.5% of the vote to Myers's 48.5%. Though Myers initially announced that she would seek a rematch with Van Zant in 2010,[5] she ultimately declined to contest the seat, and he was re-elected without opposition.

When the state legislative districts were redrawn in 2012, Van Zant was moved into the 19th District, which retained the Clay County and Putnam County areas of the district, but added sections in Bradford County and Union County. In both the primary and general elections, Van Zant was elected unopposed. In 2014, Van Zant was re-elected unopposed to his fourth and final term in the House.

At a 2014 event held by opponents of the Common Core State Standards Initiative, Van Zant announced that the American Institutes for Research, the group that helped create the tests that would be used in Florida, would be promoting a homosexual lifestyle in children, declaring, "These people that will now receive $220 million from the state of Florida unless this is stopped will promote double mindedness in state education, and attract every one of your children to become as homosexual as they possibly can."[6]


  1. ^ "VIE Magazine | Events & News | Community News: Rep. Charles Van Zant to Speak at Vision Church". Retrieved 2015-11-03. 
  2. ^ "Crist Names Stephanie Van Zant to Clay County School Board". Sunshine State News | Florida Political News. Retrieved 2015-11-03. 
  3. ^ Conner, Deirdre (November 1, 2008). "Race for Palatka-area House seat turns ugly". Florida Times-Union. Retrieved December 10, 2013. 
  4. ^ Gibbons, Timothy J. (October 11, 2008). "Rivals agree jobs are top priority". Florida Times-Union. Retrieved December 10, 2013. 
  5. ^ Derby, Kevin (July 1, 2010). "Conservatives Battle in Rematch for House Seat". Sunshine State News. Retrieved December 10, 2013. 
  6. ^ Solochek, Jeffrey S. (May 19, 2014). "Florida lawmaker claims test-maker AIR promotes homosexuality for children". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved May 19, 2014. 

External links[edit]