As a result of the 2008 election Florida is represented in congress by 15 Republican and 10 Democrat representatives, with 2 Republican and 1 Democrat seat changing parties. Bill Nelson-D and Mel Martinez-R are our Senators, neither of which were up for reelection in 2008. Our governor is Charlie Crist-R who was also not up for reelection. The highest profile non-politician is Jeb Bush-R who is the former governor and not holding (or running for) any office currently. Jeb Bush is immensely popular in Florida.

The statewide party affiliation is:

Republican: 2006- 3.9M 2008- 3.9M Delta- (0.8)%

Democrat: 2006- 4.2M 2008- 4.3M Delta- 2.6%

Independent: 2006- 2.3M 2008- 2.3M Delta- (0.4)%

Total: 2006- 10.4M 2008- 10.5M Delta- 0.7%

Note that while Florida has slightly more Democrats than Republicans, they are concentrated in 7 districts (02, 03, 11, 17, 19, 20, and 23) that all have 50% or higher Democrat registration. Only two districts are similarly strong for the Republicans (01 and 14) with 49% Republican registration. Most other districts have slight Republican majorities, usually about 42%R to 37%D. This means that Florida can be put in play for Democrats in a state-wide or presidential election (as shown in 2008), but district by district, Republicans will tend to hold the majority of congressional and legislature representation.

Florida 05

Incumbent Status

Incumbent: Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, R

First Elected: 2002 (3rd term)

Last Elected: 2006 (59.85%)

Incumbent Status: Running for re-election

Race Forecast: Safe Republican

2008 Results

Ginny Brown-Waite (R) – 264,584 – 61.2%

John Russell (D) – 167,988 – 38.8%

2008 Funding

Brown-Waite: Funding Received – $683,647.00, Spent – $498,185.00, Remaining Cash – $185,462.00

Russell: Funding Received – $31,553.00, Spent – $19,932.00, Remaining Cash – $11,621

District Statistics (2000 Census)

2006 Voter Registration: 37D/42R/21I

2006 Results: 60%/40%

Population: 639,295

Under 18: 20% Over 65: 26%

Married: 63.2%

Non-Hispanic White: 88%, Black: 5%, Hispanic: 6%, Asian: 1%

Foreign Born: 5.3%, Language other than English: 8.7%

Median Household Income: 34,815, Owner Occupied Housing: 85%, Income above $200k: 0.9

White Collar: 55.2%, Blue Collar: 27.4%, Services: 17.4%

Bachelor’s Degree: 14%, Graduate Education: 4.8%

Civilian Veterans: 109,722

Party Contact Info

In Florida, the Republicans are organized by county, not district. The Florida Republican Party maintains ties with each Country organization. FL-05 includes parts of Levy, Marion, Sumter, Citrus, Lake, Hernado, Pasco, and Polk counties.

Levy County web site

Marion County web site

Sumter County web site

Citrus County No Website available

Lake Citrus County web site

Hernado County web site

Pasco County web site

Polk County web site

Florida GOP web site

State Conservative Policy and Advocacy Organizations

James Madison Institute – J. Robert McClure III, President

Foundation for Excellent in Education – Patricia W. Levesque, Executive Director (This is Jeb Bush’s organization)

Florida TaxWatch

FreedomWorks – Florida

Analysis

Florida 05 has been represented by Ginny Brown-Waite since 2002 when she won a 1.7% victory, where the two 3rd party candidates pulled a total of 5.8% of the vote. Since then, she has enjoyed comfortable victories, with 66% in 2004, 60% in 2006, and 61% in 2008. This was despite the Democrats working to take this district in 2006. This year, her opponent was seriously underfunded, so Ginny cruised to victory. Now Ginny is widely considered to be a more moderate Republican, though she did vote against the bailout. This brings up an interesting point regarding Republicans and Conservatives. We talk a lot about challenges in the primaries, but in a district like this, that is a mistake. This district does not have enough of a Republican majority to guarantee that a primary winner will take the district (See Harris in MD-01 this year). Ginny has enough support in this district that she can hold it until she decides to retire. If we think a more conservative candidate can win here, then the time to run one is when FL-05 becomes an open seat. One final note of congratulations to the Lake County GOP, they elected the first two Republican council members ever this year.

Tags: FL-05 Florida