Disclosures show Florida congressional delegation includes 21 millionaires
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Rick Scott by far tops Florida congressional delegation in terms of net worth.

As many as 21 millionaires represent Florida in the halls of Congress.

While Florida’s senators and representatives earn their influence on the Hill through elections, a review of financial disclosures show few depend on public service for their sole income. All earn an identical salary of $174,000, but most hold sizable investment portfolios. A few collect millions each year from private businesses in which they own a stake. Florida Politics carefully studied reported assets, liabilities and outside income to find out who holds the greatest amount of assets and who makes the most money each year.

Here’s how the public servants representing Florida rank based on maximum potential net worth.

1. Sen. Rick Scott

Max net worth: $422 million

Total 2020 income: $21.5 million to $70.1 million

The Naples Republican and former Governor remains one of the wealthiest members of Congress. Assets include a private plane, a luxury mansion and boat house on the Gulf Coast and an exclusive Royal Poinciana club membership. But the vast majority of his documented wealth comes courtesy of extensive investments that potentially provide $70 million a year in income from assets alone. Some of his most valuable assets include up to $25 million each invested with Elliott Associates, Pershing Advisor Solution/BNY Mellon and Valtera Products. This has allowed him to pump millions into his own campaigns for office. Scott keeps much of his assets in a blind trust, but his wife, Anne, controls a significant portfolio as well that is also detailed in the Senator’s disclosures.

2. Rep. Vern Buchanan

Max net worth: $325 million

Total 2020 income: $3.4 million to $19.2 million

A successful business owner before his election to Congress in 2006, the Longboat Key Republican remains the wealthiest U.S. Representative from the state of Florida. Buchanan most notably ran a group of car dealerships when he worked in the private sector. While he has mostly retired from the business, the Florida Delegation co-chair still owns a substantial stake in a number of companies within the auto trade. He also holds significant real estate that produces tens of thousands worth of income annually. Personal assets include a personal aircraft and a yacht that received some attention in his 2018 campaign.

3. Rep. Scott Franklin

Max net worth: $44.9 million

Total 2020 income: $1.06 million to $3.06 million

The Lakeland Republican served on the City Commission before his election to Congress, and the $31,500 salary for that job shows up on his 2020 disclosure. But the freshman Representative’s 20 years as executive of an insurance company played a much greater role is building his impressive investment portfolio. His holdings with BRP alone are valued between $5 million and $25 million. He also makes a significant amount of income and owns a stake in OK3 Capital Properties and OK3 Capital Holdings. While he has raised less in fundraising for reelection than any other freshman from Florida, he may simply not need it.

4. Rep. Michael Waltz

Max net worth: $15.8 million

Total 2020 income: $5.34 million to $26.2 million

The former CEO of Metis Solutions enjoyed a major infusion into his bank account in 2020 with the sale of the company. Waltz’s financials reveal he made between $5 million and $25 million from that transaction, dwarfing any money he collects in salary as a member of the House. Metis Solutions worked as an intelligence and national security contractor heavily involved in Afghanistan and other U.S. military efforts around the globe. During Waltz’s tenure leading the company, he also built a sizable worth in investments and real estate.

5. Rep. Kathy Castor

Max net worth: $15.1 million

Total 2020 income: $284,000 to $452,000

Florida’s highest net worth Democrat, the Tampa politician’s wealth comes primarily from a hefty investment portfolio. Castor has regularly invested additional money in Warren Buffet’s conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway (she caught some flack for untimely reporting on a stock transaction with the holding company earlier this year). Castor also has much of her assets tied up in Vanguard investment. Notably, Castor chose not to report income for husband, Bill Lewis, a long-time partner at national law firm Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig.

6. Rep. Neal Dunn

Max net worth: $11.3 million

Total 2020 income: $444,000 to $1.61 million

The Panama City Republican and physician posts a solid income from his practice, but most of his assets come from significant investment, including through a trust. The business owner’s liabilities include a line of credit worth up to $1 million, but his brokerage funds and IRAs more than balance that out and keep his net worth in the eight-figure range.

7. Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar

Max net worth: $7.72 million

Total 2020 income: $8,020 to $11,500

A substantial share of the Miami Republican’s wealth comes from the ownership of Miracle TV, the private content provider owned by the former journalist. Salazar owns 100% of the company, valued at up to $500,000, and she also collected a small amount of income that still shows up on her 2020 disclosure. Her low income comes from the fact that she only collected a little more than $5,000, and she did not yet pull a congressional salary in 2020. She also served as President of MES Health Holdings, which specifically produced health content, and that adds to her worth.

8. Rep. Al Lawson

Max net worth: $4.99 million

Total 2020 income: $316,000

The Tallahassee Democrat collects almost as much income through insurance and earnings from his brokerage account as he does as a member of Congress. A former state Senator, Lawson’s assets include a Florida Retirement System account, and he has a sizable portfolio of investments after serving in Congress since his 2016 election. It’s enough to put the long-time public servant among the top-asset holding members of the delegation.

9. Rep. Stephanie Murphy

Max net worth: $4.91 million

Total 2020 income: $304,000 to $1.28 million

The Winter Park Democrat reported up to $1 million in income from FS Holdcom, a holding company for investment in Full Sail University. The arts technology school is a major institution in Murphy’s Central Florida Congressional District, and she has multiple investments tied to the for-profit university. The Congresswoman also reports income and assets from rental properties she owns in addition to her own home, on which she still has a mortgage.

10. Rep. Lois Frankel

Max net worth: $4.17 million

Total 2020 income: $196,000 to $200,000

The former West Palm Beach Mayor and former state Senator enjoys plenty of retirement assets with public defined contribution funds and deferred compensation plans. But her primary net worth comes from a healthy investment portfolio with Morgan Stanley, MetLife, BlackRock and others. Investments listed in her disclosure include Merck, Exxon and Lockheed Martin.

11. Rep. Charlie Crist

Max net worth: $4.13 million

Total 2020 income: $257,000 to $327,000

The St. Petersburg Democrat, a once- and would-be Governor of Florida, enjoys a healthy pension from his time holding statewide office. Thanks to stints as Governor, Attorney General, Education Commissioner and state Senator, he still collected an earned income of nearly $53,000 from the state of Florida. Beyond that, a thick brokerage portfolio with Fidelity includes municipal money market investment and puts his worth in the millions.

12. Rep. John Rutherford

Max net worth: $2.93 million

Total 2020 income: $174,000 to $175,000

The Jacksonville Sheriff-turned Northeast Florida Congressman collects little in annual income besides his House salary. But the Duval Republican reports potentially upward of $3.03 million in assets. That primarily comes from IRAs and healthy pensions from his days wearing a law enforcement uniform. Those gathered assets potentially put his net worth in the millions based on reported holdings.

13. Rep. Frederica Wilson

Max net worth: $2.15 million

Total 2020 income: $176,000 to $181,000

The Hollywood Democrat represents one of the poorest districts in the state. But her worth is potentially in the seven figures because of significant rental assets and insurance. Also a former state Senator, she holds a retirement package with the state of Florida. The biggest help to her net worth, though, comes notably from the fact she has no debt amassed.

14. Rep. Carlos Gimenez

Max net worth: $1.55 million

Total 2020 income: $376,000 to $377,000

The Miami Republican’s disclosures reveal he took quite the pay cut moving from the Miami-Dade Mayor’s Office into the halls of Congress. That job paid $231,000 a year compared to the $174,000 he now pulls as a member of the House. The former firefighter holds onto substantial pensions and retirement funds as a result of his time in public service, and he also reports investments with AIG.

15. Rep. Bill Posey

Max net worth:  $1.36 million

Total 2020 income: $213,000 to $259,000

The Rockledge Republican before serving in Congress founded Posey & Co. Realtors and still reports a significant amount of income as a landlord. His real estate holdings also make up a substantial amount of his assets, contributing to a net worth that is at minimum greater than a half million dollars and potentially close to $1.4 million. As a former state Senator, he also reported a significant retirement package with the state of Florida.

16. Rep. Val Demings

Max net worth: $1.35 million

Total 2020 income:  $174,000 to $175,000

The Orlando Democrat, who is challenging Sen. Marco Rubio for his Senate seat this year, started her career in public service long before her election to Congress. Her years in a law enforcement uniform, including as Orlando’s Chief of Police, mean she holds a sizable pension and significant retirement assets. Of note, Demings’ financial disclosures decline to list the income or net worth of husband, Jerry Demings, Mayor of Orange County and a veteran of law enforcement himself.

17. Rep. Ted Deutch

Max net worth: $1.32 million

Total 2020 income:  $176,000 to $185,000

The Boca Raton Democrat holds substantial investment in stocks through Vanguard and Goldman Sachs. Transaction records show trades with MSCI World, JP Morgan and Blackrock Strategic Income. As for liabilities, the Congressman still owes as much as a half million dollars to a mortgage with his Nationstar Mortgage Holdings. His disclosures show his wife, Jill Weinstock, works for the Hillel of Broward and Palm Beach, but they do not assign a number to her salary.

18. Rep. Darren Soto

Max net worth: $1.3 million

Total 2020 income: $247,000 to $292,000

In addition to serving in the House, the Kissimmee Democrat serves as a landlord on income-generating homes in Orlando and St. Petersburg, and he also lists condominium space in Celebration among his assets. His wife, Amanda Soto, also pulls in a salary of about $53,500 from the Osceola County Public Schools. A number of mortgage notes and student loan debt fill out Soto’s liabilities.

19. Rep. Dan Webster

Max net worth: $1.26 million

Total 2020 income: $247,000 to $323,000

The Winter Garden Republican’s most notable asset and source of income is generated by Webster Air Conditioning & Heating, the firm founded by his father Dennis and where he has worked since 1971. The Congressman now serves as owner and President of the family-run business, which is valued at between $250,000 and $500,000 and where he pulled in $13,000 in advisory fees in 2020. A former Florida Speaker of the House, he also took in substantial benefits from the Florida Retirement System.

20. Rep. Matt Gaetz

Max net worth: $1.24 million

Total 2020 income: $199,000

The Fort Walton Beach Republican’s assets include significant real estate holdings in Florida’s Panhandle, in both Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties. The Congressman also filed an amendment to his most recent disclosures to reflect $25,000 in book royalties he earned from Post Hill Press. Gaetz has a life insurance policy, and as a former member of the Florida Legislature, holds a retirement account with the Florida State Legislative Plan.

21. Rep. Byron Donalds

Max net worth: $1.05 million

Total 2020 income:  $271,000 to $306,000

The freshman Congressman before his election in November worked as an investment manager at Moran Wealth Management, a gig that brought in upward of $89,200 in income the year before his election. The Naples Republican also reported substantial capital gains through his own investments through the company. Meanwhile, his wife, school choice advocate Erika Donalds, pulled in nearly $145,000 from Educator Solutions (an amount which dropped to less than $32,900 the year Donalds ran for Congress).

22. Rep. Gus Bilirakis

Max net worth: $386,000

Total 2020 income: $192,000 to $197,000

The first non-millionaire on the list, the Palm Harbor Republican followed his father into the halls of Congress. Before that, he served in the Florida Legislature and still holds a state retirement plan as a result. Assets include two Florida prepaid college plans even as his son’s college costs contribute to liabilities. Bilirakis also pulled in more than $17,100 in payments from St. Petersburg Community College in 2020.

23. Rep. Kat Cammack

Max net worth: $615,000

Total 2020 income: $65,100 to $75,300

The Gainesville Republican just won election to the House so her salary as a Congresswoman did not contribute to her income in 2020. She was President of Grit Strategies, a company dissolved since her election. But her chief income came from husband, Matthew Harrison’s, salary as a firefighter for the city of Gainesville. She also earned income from rental properties, but the mortgages on properties also deliver a hit to the freshman House member’s net worth.

24. Rep. Greg Steube

Max net worth: $240,000

Total 2020 income: $194,000 to $239,000

The Sarasota Republican boasts a healthy investment portfolio with Synovus and Inspire, and he also has an income-generating stake in Legal Strategies & Consulting. But two mortgages, student loans and a line of credit deliver a hit to his net worth. Steube discloses his wife, Jennifer, works at Synovus Trust Company, but her salary is not included on his forms.

25. Rep. Brian Mast

Max net worth: $46,700

Total 2020 income: $175,000 to $181,000

Investments through J.P. Morgan make for a solid portfolio for the Stuart Republican, including substantial investments in Walt Disney, Expedia and other companies. But auto and real estate loans, including a home mortgage valued at up to $1 million with Pennymac, do a number on his total net worth. Other than income from his assets, the Congressman lists no additional outside income on his financial disclosures.

26. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Max net worth: $34,000

Total 2020 income: $231,000 to $302,000

Now the co-chair of the Florida delegation, the Weston Democrat notes in her assets royalties from her book “For The Next Generation” through St. Martin’s Press, but discloses no income. She holds shares in a number of publicly traded companies, including Frontier Communications and Kayne Anderson Energy, and she pulls in money through a Millenium IRA. But mortgages on properties in Weston and New Hampshire hit her overall worth significantly.

27. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart

Max net worth: -$24,000

Total 2020 income: $174,000 to $175,000

The dean of the Florida delegation lists comparatively low levels of investment and a Florida Prepaid College plan among his assets. But that’s eclipsed by the mortgage on the Miami Republican’s private home; he still owes between $250,000 and $500,000 on his mortgage. His wife, Tia Balart, pulled in salaries from The Seed School Miami and Ladat, but her income is not listed.

28. Sen. Marco Rubio

Max net worth: -$129,000

Total 2020 income: $200,000

Image via AP.

So what gives Florida’s senior Senator the lowest net worth of any member of Florida’s congressional delegation? Blame the Miami real estate market. The Republican Senator still owes as much as $1 million on his mortgage in the Magic City. Rubio does list four Florida Prepaid College plans for his children as assets, and the former Florida Speaker receives benefits through the Florida Retirement System. Besides his income as a Senator, Rubio reported more than $23,400 in payments from Florida International University and $1,500 in royalties through Penguin Random House.

Methodology: All net worth and income is calculated based on reporting on financial disclosures filed with the Senate or House clerk. The federal government requires members to report the value of assets, but in pre-set ranges, some of which are quite wide. Maximum net worth is calculated based on the total value of assets based on the highest end of ranges, then subtracting the value of liabilities based on the lowest end of the ranges. Income includes a uniform $174,000 salary for all senators and representatives in the 2020 reporting year, along with any outside sources. Those members elected in 2020 did not yet receive a salary from Congress in 2020. Income from assets is also reported only in pre-set ranges. If a range is listed here, it shows the minimum to maximum possible income based on financial disclosures. Income from spouses is included if members included that income in financial disclosures. Numbers are rounded to three significant figures.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]


2 comments

  • GD

    September 14, 2021 at 4:30 pm

    Anyone reaching 50 yrs old without $1mm in assets would make me wonder just how good with money they are.
    $1mm just isn’t that much anymore.

    Reply

  • Lynn Miller

    September 15, 2021 at 12:23 pm

    Thank you for publishing this information. I wondered what Kat did before she was annointed by the gerrymandering GOP.

    Reply

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