Greg Evers, former state senator, dies in wreck
Sen. Greg Evers

Greg Evers

Former state Sen. Greg Evers died in a car wreck near his northwest Florida home on Monday night. He was 62.

The Florida Highway Patrol said that Evers drove off a curve on Griffith Mill Road, and his car was found submerged in a roadside creek Tuesday afternoon. Evers was the only person in the vehicle.

Evers, a Baker Republican, was first elected to Senate District 2 in 2010 and subsequently re-elected. The district covers parts of Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties. Previously, Evers served in the Florida House from 2000-10.

In a statement, Senate President Joe Negron said Evers “passionately represented his district for many years in both the House and Senate. He was especially dedicated to the men and women of his community who were serving or had served in the military, as well as our fellow Floridians across the state who serve as corrections officers.”

A fixture in Panhandle politics, Evers was a staunch supporter of limited government and Second Amendment rights, causing a stir in 2016 by offering a free AR-15 in a raffle to people who liked his Facebook page.

In 2014, he advocated banning schools from disciplining students that played with simulated weapons. The proposal — known as the “Pop-Tart bill” — was inspired by an 8-year-old Maryland boy who was suspended for biting a Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun.

He left the Senate to run last year for northwest Florida’s Congressional seat, losing to Matt Gaetz. “Greg has been my friend for 16 years,” Gaetz said. “Northwest Florida has lost a great champion and true public servant.”

More recently, Evers made a bid for the Public Service Commission, but did not make the final cut.

After news of his death, tributes began rolling in, including from Gov. Rick Scott and several Senate colleagues, who took to social media for condolences.

Senate Appropriations Chair Jack Latvala, who is running for governor, tweeted a photo of Evers “photo bombing” the Clearwater Republican at a campaign event last week.

Bay County Republican Sen. George Gainer tweeted Evers was “a dedicated public servant and an even better friend. He will be greatly missed. Go rest high on that mountain.”

Former Senate President Don Gaetz, who served with Evers, praised the former lawmaker — a strawberry farmer by trade — for looking at issues through the eyes of an average person.

“He and I disagreed sometimes; we agreed most, but he was always an encouraging friend,” Gaetz told the Pensacola News-Journal. “He was a man’s man. He was tough. He really was a farmer, and if he was your friend, he would do anything for you.”

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis also honored Evers in a statement: “I’ve known Greg for many years, and there’s no one who fought harder for his principles or for the people of Northwest Florida than Greg Evers.”

Patronis added: “He truly believed in the value of hard work, and nothing was more important to him than his family, public service, and his North Florida farm. We served in the Florida House together, and I’m proud to have worked alongside him and called him a friend. Tonight, I join Florida in mourning his sudden and tragic loss.”

Gus Corbella, a lobbyist and former Senate chief of staff, said Evers was “one of a kind,” calling him a “down-home gentleman who always kept his word,” Corbella tweeted.

Evers is survived by his wife, lobbyist Lori Weems, his children Stephanie Evers Barlow, Jennifer Evers Wallace and Rob Evers, and two grandchildren.

(The News Service of Florida contributed to this post.)

Phil Ammann

Phil Ammann is a Tampa Bay-area journalist, editor and writer. With more than three decades of writing, editing, reporting and management experience, Phil produced content for both print and online, in addition to founding several specialty websites, including His broad range includes covering news, local government, entertainment reviews, marketing and an advice column. Phil has served as editor and production manager for Extensive Enterprises Media since 2013 and lives in Tampa with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul. He can be reached on Twitter @PhilAmmann or at [email protected]


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, Wes Wolfe, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn