Former U.S. Rep. Dave Weldon is plotting a return to politics.
The Indialantic Republican has filed to succeed state Rep. Thad Altman in House District 32. Altman, also an Indialantic Republican, cannot seek another term because of term limits.
“State legislatures are the best protection against the dysfunction and big government overreach that has infected Washington, D.C. today,” Weldon said. “I am running for the Florida House to protect our rights and liberties and tackle the critical issues facing our families.”
The proven fundraiser is the first to enter the contest for the open seat, and brings with him some significant name recognition.
Weldon said he’s excited to work in the conservative Legislature as Gov. Ron DeSantis leads the state.
“I commend Gov. DeSantis and the Florida Legislature for their commitment to conservative leadership. In the Florida House, I will stand firm in defense of life, the Second Amendment, parental rights in education, the rule of law, low taxes and a strong economy,” he said.
“I will take a scalpel to waste and bloat in the state budget and always uphold our conservative values. Now more than ever, we need proven conservatives in state government to safeguard Florida families from the Radical Left’s extreme agenda,”
Weldon won election to the U.S. House in 1994 as part of the Newt Gingrich-led Republican Revolution. He flipped a seat that previously had been represented by Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Bacchus, who chose not to seek re-election.
The Congressman opted against re-election in 2008, endorsing then-state Sen. Bill Posey to succeed him. Posey still holds the seat.
While Weldon stepped away to spend more time with family and focus on his medical practice, he did dabble with a return to politics before. He filed for the U.S. Senate in 2012 against incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson.
But the Republican nomination that year ultimately went to then-U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV, a Fort Myers Republican whose father previously held the Senate seat. Weldon in the Primary won 20% of the vote to Mack’s nearly 59% statewide, though he notably won nearly 32,000 votes in Brevard County to Mack’s less than 15,000 votes.
That showed he still held some political weight in his home region at the time. The state House district where he’s now running is contained entirely within Brevard County.
HD 32 includes Rockledge, Viera, Melbourne, Indian Harbour Beach and Indialantic. The heavily Republican seat currently has a voter registration makeup that is 44% Republican, 26% Democrat and 30% independent
Mack went on to lose to Nelson in the General Election. Nelson was later defeated in 2018 by then-Gov. Rick Scott, who holds the seat now and faces re-election in 2024.
Weldon’s election to Congress was his first election to public office, but he previously served in the U.S. Army and later was a member of the U.S. Army Reserve.
The medical doctor still lives on the Space Coast with his wife, Nancy. He has been married 41 years and the couple has two adult children.
He spent time in the House Appropriations, Banking, Education and Labor, Government Reform and Science committees. He also was part of the conservative Republican Study Committee, and co-founded the Congressional Aerospace Caucus.
He currently chairs the Board for the Israel Allies Foundation and is a trustee for the Florida Institute of Technology
He also notably played bass in The Second Amendments, a country rock band made up of members of Congress.
February 22, 2023 at 1:33 pm
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