Southwest Florida Republican incumbents earn return trips to Congress
Incumbents rule in SW Florida.

buchanan donalds franklin steube
Vern Buchanan, Byron Donalds, Scott Franklin and Greg Steube won re-election efforts.

Southwest Florida’s congressional seats will remain firmly in Republican hands.

U.S. Reps. Vern Buchanan, Byron Donalds, Scott Franklin and Greg Steube handily won re-election over Democratic opponents.

Buchanan, a Longboat Key Republican, defeated Jan Schneider, a perennial Democratic opponent. While redistricting shifted Florida’s 16th Congressional District northward to cover Manatee and part of Hillsborough counties, the eight-term incumbent handily won.

He had more than 62% of the vote compared to Schneider’s 38%.

Buchanan now heads to Washington with a different race on his mind. He will return likely as part of a new Republican majority, and is vying to Chair the House Ways & Means Committee. The Congressman earlier this year fended off a Primary challenge from Republican Martin Hyde.

Steube, a Sarasota Republican, defeated Democrat Andrea Doria Kale in Florida’s 17th Congressional District. He was favored to win even before Hurricane Ian effectively sidelined Kale’s campaign.

The incumbent had almost 64% of the vote as compared to Kale’s 35.5%.

Redistricting cut the Florida Heartland out of Steube’s district, and instead put it in a redrawn Florida’s 18th Congressional District. Lakeland Republican Franklin chose to run in that conservative jurisdiction.

Franklin defeated Republican Primary opponents Kenny Hartpence, Jennifer Raybon, Wendy Schmeling and Eddie Tarazona in August. Faced only no-party candidate Keith Hayden and some write-in candidates in the General Election.

The Republican had a dominating 75% of the vote compared to Hayden’s 25%.

For Donalds, the General Election staged a rematch with Democrat Cindy Banyai, who lost to Donalds in 2020 when he first won election to Congress.

Donalds had more than 68% of the vote compared to Banyai’s 32%.

The Naples Republican now heads to Washington for his sophomore term. Already, he announced a desire to lead the GOP caucus and will challenge GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik of New York for that honor.

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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