Vern Buchanan reminds Martin Hyde who he is in CD 16 Primary

The incumbent in the end handily beat the troubled challenger.

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan crushed intraparty opponent Martin Hyde in a Republican Primary. He now appears on his way to winning a ninth term representing Florida’s 16th Congressional District — and perhaps controlling the most powerful committee in Congress.

“I’m humbled by the trust and confidence the people of Manatee and Hillsborough counties have placed in me,” Buchanan said.

“I will continue to fight the Far Left’s reckless agenda that has caused record-high inflation, porous borders, and soft-on-crime policies that have made our communities less safe. I look forward to carrying that message through November as we work to take back the U.S. House and get our country back on track.”

With most votes in throughout the district, Buchanan won 63,982 votes. That constitutes 86.24% of the vote, his highest share ever in a contested Primary, with compared to Hyde’s 10,206 votes. The margin of victory represented the largest of any Florida Republican in a congressional primary this year.

“This is a credit to Vern’s unrelenting fight to combat this administration’s reckless agenda and restore the American Dream. Manatee County and Hillsborough County citizens have sent a resounding message by delivering Vern his largest primary margin of victory ever,” said campaign consultant Max Goodman.

Buchanan will now face Democrat Jan Schneider, an opponent he has defeated before with relative ease, in November.

If he secures re-election, Buchanan could enter his next term with greater power than he, or any Florida Congressman, ever enjoyed. Fortune smiled on the Longboat Key Republican after sitting Ways and Means Ranking Republican Kevin Brady said he would not seek re-election. Then, Donald Trump recruited next-in-line Devin Nunes to run his Truth Social company, which ironically ended up headquartered in Buchanan’s House district.

Buchanan now will be the senior-most Republican on Ways and Means and appears the odds-on favorite to Chair Congress’ most powerful committee. That, of course, depends on the GOP reclaiming a majority in the House, something most prognosticators expect to happen.

As for Buchanan’s own re-election, while he faced nationally backed Democrats the last two-election cycles, Schneider doesn’t boast the same resources. Florida’s new congressional map also leaves Buchanan in a district where 53.81% of voters supported Republican President Trump in the 2020 election, compared to 44.95% who backed Democrat Joe Biden.

As far as his own re-election, Buchanan’s greatest threat this year seemed to be the Primary challenge from Hyde — at least as the cycle began. A two-time Sarasota City Commission candidate, Hyde entered the race in CD 16 as an existential threat. Endorsed by Trump associates Michael Flynn and Roger Stone, the brash and outspoken activist in many ways represented the conservative id incarnate that already led to many an election night upset.

But while Hyde landed several Trump-world nods, Buchanan nabbed the support of the former President himself.

Meanwhile, the trajectory of Hyde’s candidacy shifted in a wholly different direction. Pulled over for a traffic stop on Valentine’s Day, Hyde chewed out the female cop for writing him three citations. “I’ll just call the Chief. You know who I am, right?” Hyde told the officer.

An initial report sparked anger at Hyde, but the release of body cam footage turned the matter into an international incident, going viral and spurring death threats from around the globe.

Hyde for a period dropped out of view and hinted he would end his candidacy, but stayed in the race anyway, self-funding after donations dried up.

More recently, a dispute with a woman in a six-year off-and-on romance resulted in her reporting Hyde’s emotional instability. And just this weekend, Hyde made headlines again for expressing a desire to shoot FBI agents should they ever try and serve search warrants at his home as they did in Mar-a-Lago.

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]


  • Ken Jones

    August 24, 2022 at 2:57 pm

    It warmed my heart to see an entitled, arrogant SOB like Martin Hyde get crushed in this primary. People like him should not be in any position of power.

  • Joe Gawel

    August 25, 2022 at 4:41 pm

    Glad to see you wouldn’t want IQ4.5 to be in a position of political power again–’cause his picture is next to the term “entitled, arrogant SOB” in Webster’s dictionary.

Comments are closed.


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