|Member of the Florida Senate
from the 2nd district
November 16, 2010
|Preceded by||Durell Peaden|
|Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 1st district
October 22, 2001 – November 16, 2010
|Preceded by||Jeff Miller|
|Succeeded by||Doug Broxson|
June 16, 1955 |
|Alma mater||Pensacola Junior College|
Robert Gregory "Greg" Evers (born June 16, 1955) is a Republican politician who currently serves as a member of the Florida Senate, representing the 2nd District since 2010. Prior to his election to the Senate, he served as a member of the Florida House of Representatives, representing the 1st District from 2001 to 2010.
Evers was born in Milton, Florida, and grew up on his family's farm, later attending Pensacola Junior College, and then eventually joining his family's fertilizer business. When he became the owner of the business, he moved it to Baker, where he started growing cotton, soybeans, peanuts, wheat, and corn.
Florida House of Representatives
In 2001, when United States Congressman Joe Scarborough, who represented Florida's 1st congressional district, resigned, State Representative Jeff Miller ran in the special election to succeed him, and resigned from his seat in the legislature. A special election was called to replace Miller in the 1st District, which included northern Escambia County, northwestern Okaloosa County, and northern Santa Rosa County. Evers ran in the special election, and faced Mary Golden, the wife of State Attorney Curtis Golden; C. Robert Hilliard, an attorney; Donald Middlebrooks, a salesman; Jim Reeves, a former State Representative and Pensacola City Councilman; and Floyd Rose, a retired sheriff in the Republican primary. Hilliard ended up receiving a plurality of the vote in the initial primary election, receiving 27% of the vote to Evers' 25%, Reeves' 24%, Golden's 17%, Middlebrooks' 4%, and Rose's 2%, but because he did not receive a majority, a runoff election was held between Evers and Hilliard. In a close election, Evers narrowly defeated Hilliard, winning 54% of the vote to Hilliard's 46%. Advancing to the general election, Evers faced Eddie Cook, the Democratic nominee and a retired oil technician. Owing to the conservative nature of the district, Evers defeated Cook in a landslide, winning his first term in the legislature with 77% of the vote.
When Evers ran for re-election in 2002 to his first full term, he was challenged in the Republican primary by Santa Rosa County Commissioner Byrd Mapoles. During the campaign, Evers' daughter found the cell phone of Mapoles' son next to an Evers roadside campaign sign that had been knocked down, which resulted in a grand jury investigation that ultimately cleared Mapoles' son of criminal charges. Evers ended up defeating Mapoles handily, winning renomination with 73% of the vote. He was re-elected unopposed in the general election that year, and then again in 2004 and 2006. In 2008, he faced Ryan Gilbert in the Republican primary, but defeated him easily, winning renomination with 76% of the vote, and was re-elected in the general election without opposition.
When State Senator Durell Peaden was unable to seek re-election due to term limits, Evers ran to succeed him in the 2nd District, which stretched from Panama City to Pensacola and included northern Bay County, northern Escambia County, Holmes County, northern Okaloosa County, northern Santa Rosa County, northern Walton County, and Washington County. He was originally set to face fellow State Representative Dave Murzin in the Republican primary, but Murzin opted to run for a seat on the Escambia County Commission instead, so Evers faced Tea Party activist Mike Hill. Despite Hill racking up a number of local endorsements, Evers significantly outraised him, and ended up defeating him in a landslide, receiving 71% of the vote to Hill's 29%. In the general election, Evers was opposed by Christopher S. Crawford, the Tea Party nominee, and defeated him by a wide margin with 79% of the vote.
In 2012, following the reconfiguration of the state's legislative districts, the 2nd District was redrawn and made more compact, trading the reach down to Panama City for more of Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties. Evers ran for re-election, which he won unopposed. When he sought re-election in 2014, he won uncontested again.
Throughout his tenure in the legislature, Evers wrote a number of pieces of legislation concerning gun rights. Following the Marissa Alexander case, Evers wrote legislation that exempted certain acts of self-defense from a law that required twenty years of jail time if a gun was fired during the commission of certain felonies, and bill was eventually signed into law by Governor Rick Scott. He also authored legislation, referred to as the "Pop Tart" bill, that prevented schools from "disciplining students who play with simulated weapons," which was also signed into law. In 2015, Evers joined State Representative Greg Steube to author legislation that would have allowed individuals with concealed-carry permits to bring guns onto college and university campuses, but the bill ultimately died in the Florida Senate when the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Miguel Díaz de la Portilla, declined to bring it up in committee, citing a lack of support within the Senate.
- "The Journal of the House of Representatives Second Special Session--"B" of 2000-2002" (PDF). Florida House of Representatives. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
- "Farmer wins GOP primary for Panhandle House seat". Florida Times-Union. September 4, 2001. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
- "Candidates battle for representative's spot". Ocala Star-Banner. July 23, 2001. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
- "July 24, 2001 Special Primary Congress 1 & House 1 Republican Primary". Florida Department of State Division of Elections. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
- "September 4, 2001 Special Runoff House 1 Republican Primary". Florida Department of State Division of Elections. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
- "October 16, 2001 Special General Congress 1 & House 1". Florida Department of State Division of Elections. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
- "Indictment Denied Over Downed Sign". The Ledger. October 16, 2002. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
- "SD 2: Greg Evers Has Strong Financial Advantage". Sunshine State News. July 31, 2010. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
- ""Warning shot" bill approved by Florida lawmakers". CBS News. April 4, 2014. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
- Averhart, Sandra (June 25, 2014). "Sen. Evers And Rep. Gaetz Win Reelection Unopposed". WUWF. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
- Cotterell, Bill (April 2, 2015). "House panel approves concealed weapons on campus". Tallahassee Democrat. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
- Urban, Tom; Turner, Jim (May 7, 2015). "NRA: Florida campus carry bills will be back in front of lawmakers". The News Herald. Retrieved May 18, 2015.