Who is the Best Republican Senator From Florida?
Senator Claude Pepper dedicated his life to serving the people of Florida. His work endures through the Claude Pepper Foundation and its many interlinked layers of research, educational and outreach.
Rep. Val Demings launched a bid for the Senate, giving Democrats a boost in a competitive race in 2022. Her campaign will challenge Republican Sen.
Edward J. Gurney
After graduating from college, Edward Gurney moved to Winter Park and started a law practice. He became a city commissioner and mayor of Winter Park before winning a seat in Congress. His victory made him the first Republican senator to represent Florida since Reconstruction. His success was a result of the national GOP campaign’s “Southern Strategy” designed to appeal to conservative white voters.
During his time in the Senate, Gurney was named to the committee investigating the Watergate scandal during Richard Nixon’s presidency. He also served on the appropriations committee and the judiciary committee. He was indicted for campaign finance violations including bribery and perjury. After two trials he was acquitted but his political career suffered from the indictment and he lost re-election in 1974. He retired from public life and died in Winter Park. He was 92 at the time of his death. He was survived by his wife and children. His family owned a nursery business.
Bill Nelson is a fifth-generation Floridian and a lifelong public servant. He served as the Florida state treasurer, insurance commissioner, and fire marshal before winning election to the U.S. Senate in 1994. As a member of the Florida cabinet, he fought back against insurance companies that tried to raise rates for older Florida residents and started an investigation into insurers that were selling “junk burial policies.”
He was also the second sitting member of Congress to travel in space, flying as a payload specialist aboard the Columbia space shuttle on STS-61-C in January 1986. He remained in orbit for six days, conducting several medical experiments and demonstrating the benefits of exercise in outer space.
As a senator, Nelson champions issues important to Floridians, including ensuring access to affordable health care and preventing offshore oil drilling. He is also a strong supporter of same-sex marriage, lowering taxes for middle and lower income families, and expanding environmental programs and regulation. Nelson serves on the committees on Commerce, Armed Services, Finance, and Special Committee on Aging.
After serving two terms as Governor of Florida, Scott ran for the United States Senate in 2022 and defeated Democrat Bill Nelson in a tight race. He is a member of the Republican Party and has made promoting economic growth his top priority. He is an expert on domestic issues, including Everglades restoration, immigration, and off-shore drilling. He is a frequent guest on Sunday morning news programs.
As a senator, he has been focused on boosting job creation, protecting the environment, and helping communities recover from natural disasters. He also cosponsored legislation to expand a program that helps small businesses build resilience against natural disasters.
He is one of the most effective leaders in Congress and has a proven track record as a fiscal conservative. Last year he challenged Mitch McConnell for leader of the Senate, because he was tired of Republicans in Washington caving to Democrats and passing policies that hurt working families. He is running for re-election in 2024 to continue fighting for Florida families, holding the establishment accountable, and saving America from the destructive policies of Joe Biden and the Democratic Party.
Rubio has been a leading voice in the Trump administration on foreign policy. He has also been a champion for property tax reforms in Florida, where he is a former House speaker. He is regularly ranked as one of the most effective senators by the Center for Effective Lawmaking.
Rubio’s parents fled Cuba in 1956 during the Fulgencio Batista dictatorship and emigrated to the United States. He is an avid traveler and speaks fluent Spanish. He served on the West Miami city commission and in the Florida House of Representatives before being elected to the Senate in 2010.
He ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 but failed to gain momentum. The following year, he won reelection by beating Democratic U.S. Rep. Val Demings. He has led on issues such as Everglades restoration and helping communities recover from hurricanes and major flooding. He also supported legislation to help small businesses bolster their resilience against natural disasters by establishing an SBA predisaster mitigation loan program.