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Florida's 8th congressional district

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Florida's 8th congressional district
Interactive map of district boundaries since January 3, 2023
  Bill Posey
Area2,412[1] sq mi (6,250 km2)
  • 94.11% urban[2]
  • 5.89% rural
Population (2022)801,682[3]
Median household
Cook PVIR+11[5]

Florida's 8th congressional district is an electoral district for the U.S. Congress and was reassigned in 2012, effective January 2013, from the inland central part of Florida to the central Atlantic coast. The district includes Titusville, Melbourne, Cocoa, and Cape Canaveral, Florida. The district includes all of Brevard County, as well as all of Indian River County and parts of Orange County. The district also includes the Kennedy Space Center.[6][7]

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

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • Congressional Leadership: Crash Course Government and Politics #8


Hi, I'm Craig and this is Crash Course Government and Politics, and today we're going to examine the leadership structure of Congress! I know, pretty exciting stuff! Now calm down, let me explain. Are you ready to talk about Congressional leadership? You better be. So, the Congressional leadership are the Congresspersons with titles like Majority Leader and Minority Whip, and they have a lot to do with political parties, so we're going to talk about what the political parties do in Congress as well. Even if you don't follow politics, you probably have heard of the name and titles, if not the functions, of the various leaders. I'm going to need some help on this one, so... Let's go the Clone Zone! In the Clone Zone today I've got House Clone and Senate Clone to help me explain Congressional leadership. House Clone in the house! Take it away. The leader of the House of Representatives is the Speaker of the House, and he or she is the third most powerful person in the country. The speaker is always elected by whichever party is in the majority. These elections take place every two years, because the whole House is elected every two years. That's a lot of elections! At the time of the shooting of the episode the Speaker of the House is John Boehner from Ohio, known for his tan, tears, and tacos. Yeaah, he's oddly really good at making tacos. I had the barbecue pork at his house one time.... Yeah, I had the beef taco! He called it la lengua. Interesting choice. Yeah. The speaker has two assistants to help run the house. The Majority Whip has the primary task of counting votes on important pieces of legislation, and making the party members vote along with their party. Whipping them into line, I suppose. (whipping noise) The third in line is the House Majority Leader, who helps the majority and probably does other stuff, but mainly he's chosen by the speaker because he's popular with particular factions within the party. The Minority Party, that's the one with fewer members elected in a term, duh (scoffs), also has a Minority Leader, and a Minority Whip, but no speaker. The Minority Leader is the de facto spokesperson for the minority party in the House, which is why you often see him or her on TV, or on your phone, or, your iPad, or your pager. I don't think you can see it on your pager. Hey, that was some pretty good stuff you said there House Clone. What's the deal with the Senate, Senate Clone? Things are simpler over in the Senate because we have only 100 august members and not the rabble of 435 to try to "manage." The leader of the Senate is the Majority Leader and he (so far it's always been a he) is elected by the members of his party, which by definition is the majority party, the one with 51 or more members. There's also a Minority Leader, which, like the Minority Leader in the House, is the party's spokesperson. The Vice President presides over the Senate sessions when he doesn't have anything better to do, even though it's one of his few official constitutional duties. When the veep is off at a funeral, or undermining the president with one of his gaffes, the President pro tempore presides. The President pro tem is a largely ceremonial role that is given to the most senior member of the majority party. Senior here means longest serving, not necessarily oldest, although it can be the same thing. No one would want to be a Congressional leader if there was no power involved, so it's important to know what powers these folks have, and how they exercise them. Also, I'm not supposed to do this, but let's go to the Thought Bubble. I love saying that! The primary way that leaders in both the House and Senate exercise power is through committee assignments. By assigning certain members to certain committees, the leadership can ensure that their views will be represented on those committees. Also, leaders can reward members with good committee assignments, usually ones that allow members to connect with their constituents, or stay in the public eye, or punish wayward members with bad committee assignments. Like the committee for cleaning the toilets or something. The Speaker of the House is especially powerful in his role assigning Congressmen to committees. Congressional leaders shape the agenda of Congress, having a huge say in which issues get discussed and how that discussion takes place. The Speaker is very influential here, although how debate happens in the House is actually decided by the House Rules Committee, which makes this a rather powerful committee to be on. The Senate doesn't have a rules committee, so there's no rules! Aw, yeah! There's rules. The body as a whole decides how long debate will go on, and whether amendments will be allowed, but the Majority Leader, if he can control his party, still has a lot of say in what issues will get discussed. Agenda setting is often a negative power, which means that it is exercised by keeping items off the agenda rather than putting them on. It's much easier to keep something from being debated at all than to manage the debate once it's started, and it's also rather difficult for the media to discuss an issue that's never brought up, no matter how much the public might ask, "But why don't you talk about this thing that matters a lot to me?" Thanks, Thought Bubble. Speaking of the media, Congressional leaders can also wield power because they have greater access to the press and especially TV. That's the thing people used to watch. Instead of YouTube. This is largely a matter of efficiency. Media outlets have only so many reporters, and they aren't going to waste resources on the first-term Congressman from some district in upstate New York. No one even goes to upstate New York. Is there anyone in upstate New York? Has anyone ever gone to upstate New York? When the Speaker calls a press conference reporters show up, and the Majority Leader can usually get on the Sunday talk shows if he wants. Media access is a pretty handy way to set an agenda for the public. Finally, Congressional leaders exercise a lot of power through their ability to raise money and to funnel it into their colleague's campaign. I want colleagues like that. Each House of Congress has a special campaign committee and whoever chairs it has the ability to shift campaign funds to the race that needs it most, or to the Congressperson he or she most wants to influence. The official leadership has little trouble raising money since donors want to give to proven winners who have a lot of power, and get the most bang for their buck. Since the leaders usually win their races easily, this is more true in the House than the Senate. They frequently have extra campaign money to give. Often the donations are given to political action committees, or PACs, which we'll talk about in another episode. We're going to spend a lot of time talking about political parties, and probably having parties of our own in later episodes, especially their role in elections, but they are really important once Congress is in office too. One way that parties matter is incredibly obvious if you stop to think about it. It's contained in the phrase "majority rules." This is especially true in the House, where the majority party chooses the Speaker, but it's also the case in the Senate. This is why ultimately political parties organize and raise so much money to win elections: if one of the parties controls both houses and the presidency, as the Democrats did in 2008 through 2009, that party is much more likely to actually get things done. The party that's the majority in each house is also the majority on all of that house's committees, or at least the important ones, and, as we saw in the last episode, committees are where most of the legislative work in Congress gets done. Gets did. As you probably figured out, the majority party chooses the committee chairs, too, so it's really got a lock on that sweet legislative agenda. Parties also can make Congress more efficient by providing a framework for cooperation. The party provides a common set of values, so a Republican from Florida and one from Wyoming will have something in common, even if their constituents don't. These common values can be the basis of legislation sometimes. But sometimes that happens. Political parties also provide discipline in the process. When a party is more unified it's easier for the leader to set an agenda and get the membership to stick to it. Right? Unified. Lack of party unity can make it difficult for the leadership. In 2011 a large group of very conservative newbie Congressmen associated with the Tea Party Movement made it difficult for Speaker Boehner to put forward an agenda. The Tea Party caucus felt Boehner compromised too much with the Democrats, even though his agenda was, by some standards, pretty conservative. As a result, Congress wasn't able to get much done, except make itself unpopular. So, if you combine all this with the stuff we learned about Congressional committees, you should have a pretty good understanding of how Congress actually works. Yay! Understanding! As this course progresses and you fall in love with politics, and myself, be on the lookout for how the leadership sets the agenda and pay attention to what issues might be floating around that aren't getting discussed in Congress. Understanding who the Congressional leaders are, and knowing their motivations, can give you a sense of why things do and don't get done by the government. And, if you're lucky, you live in a district represented by a member of leadership. In that case, the person you vote for will be in the news all the time, which is kind of satisfying, I guess. Yeah, I voted for that guy! Yeah! And now he's on the TV! Yeah! Thanks for watching. We'll see you next week. What do you think, can we be unified? Can we get things done? We can't. Crash Course Government and Politics is produced in association with PBS Digital Studios. Support for Crash Course US Government comes from Voqal. Voqal supports non-profits that use technology and media to advance social equity. Learn more about their mission and initiatives at Crash Course was made by all of these nice people. Thanks for watching. Someday, maybe the eagle and I will get along. Not today. Not today.

List of members representing the district

Member Party Years Cong
Electoral history
District created January 3, 1953

Donald R. Matthews
Democratic January 3, 1953 –
January 3, 1967
Elected in 1952.
Re-elected in 1954.
Re-elected in 1956.
Re-elected in 1958.
Re-elected in 1960.
Re-elected in 1962.
Re-elected in 1964.
Lost renomination.

William C. Cramer
(St. Petersburg)
Republican January 3, 1967 –
January 3, 1971
Redistricted from the 12th district and re-elected in 1966.
Re-elected in 1968.
Retired to run for U.S. senator.

Bill Young
Republican January 3, 1971 –
January 3, 1973
92nd Elected in 1970.
Redistricted to the 6th district.

James A. Haley
Democratic January 3, 1973 –
January 3, 1977
Redistricted from the 7th district and re-elected in 1972.
Re-elected in 1974.
[data missing]

Andy Ireland
(Winter Park)
Democratic January 3, 1977 –
January 3, 1983
Elected in 1976.
Re-elected in 1978.
Re-elected in 1980.
Redistricted to the 10th district.

Bill Young
(St. Petersburg)
Republican January 3, 1983 –
January 3, 1993
Redistricted from the 6th district and re-elected in 1982.
Re-elected in 1984.
Re-elected in 1986.
Re-elected in 1988.
Re-elected in 1990.
Redistricted to the 10th district.

Bill McCollum
Republican January 3, 1993 –
January 3, 2001
Redistricted from the 5th district and re-elected in 1992.
Re-elected in 1994.
Re-elected in 1996.
Re-elected in 1998.
[data missing]

Ric Keller
Republican January 3, 2001 –
January 3, 2009
Elected in 2000.
Re-elected in 2002.
Re-elected in 2004.
Re-elected in 2006.
Lost re-election.

Alan Grayson
Democratic January 3, 2009 –
January 3, 2011
111th Elected in 2008.
Lost re-election.

Daniel Webster
Republican January 3, 2011 –
January 3, 2013
112th Elected in 2010.
Redistricted to the 10th district.

Bill Posey
Republican January 3, 2013 –
Redistricted from the 15th district and re-elected in 2012.
Re-elected in 2014.
Re-elected in 2016.
Re-elected in 2018.
Re-elected in 2020.
Re-elected in 2022.


Year Office Results
2000 President Bush 53 - 45%
2004 President Bush 55 - 44%
2008 President Obama 52 - 47%
2012 President Romney 57 - 43%
2016 President Trump 61 - 39%
2020 President Trump 58 - 40%

Election results

1992 election

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

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

1996 election

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

1998 election

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

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%),[8] but not enough to avoid a runoff. On October 3, 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
Total votes 246,593 100.00
Republican hold


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.

2006 election

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 sweeping the country that November. Keller had been slipping in popularity, winning by lower margins in each election. He also had been mildly lampooned by local media with the nickname "Cheeseburger Ric," for introducing the so-called "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
Total votes 180,444 100.00
Republican hold

2008 election

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.[9] The Keller-Long primary fight intensified over the summer, with Keller's term limit retraction, as well as his vote against The Surge[10] 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.[11] Keller won the primary with a 53%-47% margin,[12] 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[13]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Alan Grayson 172,854 52.0
Republican Ric Keller (incumbent) 159,490 48.0
Total votes 332,244 100.00
Democratic gain from Republican

2010 election

Freshman Democratic 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.[14] Grayson ran attack ads, calling Webster a "draft-dodger"[15] (Webster had received student deferments and a draft classification as medically unfit for service),[16] and another calling Webster "Taliban Dan" for his perceived extreme right religious views on social issues.[17]

Grayson's attack ads were criticized,[18] and observers suggest they ultimately backfired.[19] 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 (incumbent) 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)
Total votes 219,964 100
Republican gain from Democratic

2012 election

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.[20]

Florida 8th Congressional District 2012 [21]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bill Posey 205,432 58.9
Democratic Shannon Roberts 130,870 37.5
No Party Affiliation Richard Gillmor 12,607 3.6
Total votes 348,909 100.0

2014 election

Florida's 8th congressional district, 2014[citation needed]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bill Posey (incumbent) 180,728 65.8
Democratic Gabriel Rothblatt 93,724 34.2
Independent Christopher L. Duncan (write-in) 61 0.0
Total votes 274,513 100.0
Republican hold

2016 election

Florida's 8th congressional district, 2016 [22]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bill Posey (incumbent) 246,483 63.1
Democratic Corry Westbrook 127,127 32.6
Independent Bill Stinson 16,951 4.3
Total votes 390,561 100.0
Republican hold

2018 election

Florida's 8th congressional district, 2018
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bill Posey (incumbent) 218,112 60.5
Democratic Sanjay Patel 142,415 39.5
Total votes 360,527 100.0
Republican hold

2020 election

Florida's 8th congressional district, 2020
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bill Posey (incumbent) 282,093 61.4
Democratic Jim Kennedy 177,695 38.6
Total votes 459,788 100.0
Republican hold

2022 election

Florida's 8th congressional district, 2022
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bill Posey (incumbent) 222,128 64.9
Democratic Joanne Terry 120,080 35.0
Total votes 342,208 100.0
Republican hold

Historical district boundaries

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.



  1. ^ "Congressional Plan--SC14-1905 (Ordered by The Florida Supreme Court, 2-December-2015)" (PDF). Florida Senate Committee on Reapportionment. Retrieved January 11, 2017.
  2. ^ Geography, US Census Bureau. "Congressional Districts Relationship Files (state-based)".
  3. ^ Bureau, Center for New Media & Promotion (CNMP), US Census. "My Congressional District".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ "My Congressional District".
  5. ^ "2022 Cook PVI: District Map and List". Cook Political Report. Retrieved January 10, 2023.
  6. ^ 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. February 16, 2012.
  7. ^ 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. February 2012.
  8. ^ "Federal Elections 2000: U.S. House Results - Florida".
  9. ^ Rachel Kapochunas, "Keller's Early '08 Opponent Focusing on Broken Term Limit Pledge", New York Times, December 5, 2006
  10. ^ "Ric Keller faces tight race after pair of costly decisions".
  11. ^ "Keller: GOP rival has booze history".
  12. ^ "Capitol Briefing - Florida Rep. Keller Gets Primary Scare".
  13. ^ "Florida Department of State Division of Elections - November 4, 2008 General Election". Secretary of State of Florida. Archived from the original on April 25, 2009. Retrieved January 17, 2009.
  14. ^ "Roll Call - Florida 8th District".
  15. ^ Mark Schlueb Alan Grayson TV ad calls Dan Webster a draft dodger Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 9/26/10
  16. ^ "America's Worst Politician". October 24, 2010.
  17. ^ Mark Schlueb (9/26/10) Grayson TV ad compares Webster to Taliban Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 9/26/10.
  18. ^ "Rep. Grayson Lowers the Bar -". September 27, 2010.
  19. ^ "Grayson's 'Taliban' ad backfires".
  20. ^ "Posey wins 3rd term in House". Florida TODAY. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
  21. ^ "Florida Department of State Division of Elections - November 6, 2012 General Election". Secretary of State of Florida. Retrieved March 9, 2013.
  22. ^ "2016 General Election November 8, 2016 Official Results". Florida Division of Elections. November 8, 2016. Retrieved December 14, 2016.

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

This page was last edited on 5 October 2023, at 23:42
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