Florida's 9th congressional district election, 2006

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The election to choose a representative for the 9th Congressional District of Florida was held on November 7, 2006. Gus Bilirakis, the Republican son of retiring incumbent Republican, Mike Bilirakis, defeated Democratic candidate and former Hillsborough County Commissioner Phyllis Busansky. Gus Bilirakis will serve from January 2007 through January 2009.



Gus Bilirakis won the Republican primary on September 5, 2006. He faced only one opponent, chiropractic physician David Langheier, and got 48% of the vote. His campaign received endorsements from various Republican leaders, including Florida governor Jeb Bush,[1] U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, Congressman Roy Blunt, and Congressman Tom Reynolds.


Phyllis Busansky was a moderate Democrat who was a Hillsborough County Commissioner from 1989 to 1997. In 1995 she was named a "Public Official of the Year" by Governing magazine, a national publication.

She was the first Executive Director of Florida's welfare-to-work agency (WAGES), initially under Governor Lawton Chiles and then under governor Jeb Bush. The agency had a $1.2 billion annual budget.

She was the only Democrat to file for the seat, although other Democrats had announced an interest as of late 2005.

The campaign[edit]

In October 2006, the CQ Politics Weekly reported that Bilirikas had raised $741,000 and had $567,779 cash on hand, making him number one out of all the candidates running for open seats in terms of cash on hand.[2]

Most observers had not expected a close race, as the district, located on Florida's Gulf Coast north of Tampa, is Republican-leaning.

Busansky's candidacy prompted various national political observers to significantly upgrade the Democratic Party's chances of winning the seat. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee gave Busansky's candidacy their "Red to Blue" designation (one of 22 such designations), authorizing additional financial and political resources to aid her campaign.

Ratings and polls[edit]

The Cook Political Report rating on the contest as of late August was "Likely Republican".

A September 26, 2006 SurveyUSA poll reported Bilirakis with 61% support, Busansky with 32% support.[3]


Gus Michael Bilirakis (R) | 123,016 total votes | 55.9%

Phyllis Busansky (D) | 96,978 total votes | 44.1%

Andrew Pasayan (Write-In) | 19 total votes | 0.0% [4]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]