First to the ball? Greg Steube announces re-election campaign in CD 17
Greg Steube. Image via Twitter

He's staking claim to a seat where 60% of his current constituents live.

Rep. Greg Steube, a Sarasota Republican, announced Thursday morning he will seek re-election in Florida’s 17th Congressional District.

“Florida’s 17th district deserves an America First conservative who will fight for freedom and liberty, and I have a proven track record of doing exactly that in service to this district and our country,” Steube said. “I am honored to seek re-election once again in District 17, and I applaud Gov. (Ron) DeSantis for his leadership during the redistricting process.”

The move comes a day after the Florida Senate approved a new congressional map (P 0109) drawn by DeSantis’ Office. The House will approve the map Thursday.

Steube’s announcement preempts a decision by Rep. Vern Buchanan on whether to run in the new CD 17 or in the Manatee-based Florida’s 16th Congressional District. Buchanan is an eight-term incumbent in line for House Ways and Means Chair position if Republicans retake the House.

On DeSantis’ map, CD 17 overlaps with both Buchanan’s and Steube’s current districts. As proposed, the district covers all of Sarasota and Charlotte counties, as well as a portion of northeast Lee County. CD 16 covers all of Manatee County and much of south Hillsborough.

Steube’s district now covers the inland Florida Heartland, but under the DeSantis map, that territory falls in Florida’s 18th Congressional District. While the decision may not be welcomed in Buchanan’s orbit, it clears CD 18 for Rep. Scott Franklin, a Lakeland Republican who represents northern portions of that district as drawn now.

While the new CD 17 is geographically smaller than Steube’s existing district, his campaign reports about 60% of his existing constituency lives within the new jurisdiction.

The former state Senator and staunch conservative boasts endorsements from the National Rifle Association, National Right to Life and Family Research Council. On Wednesday, he picked up an endorsement from Club For Growth, one which conspicuously identified him as a candidate for CD 17.

“The Floridians of District 17 know they can trust me to remain a steadfast, principled conservative who delivers on his promises and does not shy away from doing what is right,” Steube said. “I will continue to fight against socialism and the Left’s radical woke agenda, and I will always stand up for free and fair elections, a secured southern border, economic freedom, and the preservation of our constitutional rights.”

Some of those remarks will surely be read as veiled barbs at Buchanan, who voted for universal background checks and who, unlike Steube, voted to certify President Joe Biden’s 2020 victory in the last Presidential Election.

His campaign announcement also touted his military record serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom, as well as his seat on the House Judiciary Committee.

“We need strong conservatives in Congress so we can reclaim the gavel from Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi, reverse the damage Joe Biden and House Democrats have done to our country, and implement bold conservative policy in Washington,” the statement said.

CD 17 is a Republican seat, according to a partisan performance analysis by MCI Maps. About 57.5% of voters there supported Republican Donald Trump in the 2020 Presidential Election, compared to 41.6% who backed Biden.

Steube notably appeared with former President Trump this weekend at a fundraiser in Mar-a-Lago.

Notably, Trump has supported Buchanan with a non-district-specific endorsement, a critical moment before the DeSantis maps published that undercut a challenge from the right by Sarasota activist Martin Hyde. Buchanan is the wealthiest member of the Florida U.S. House delegation, which he Co-Chairs. Some in his orbit believe he’s willing to spend up to $10 million if need be to defend his own seat in Congress.

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].


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