Bill Posey won’t seek re-election, endorses Mike Haridopolos
Bill Posey takes a hard pass on driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants.  Image via CQ/Roll Call.

He announced the decision shortly after the qualification deadline to run for his seat.

U.S. Rep. Bill Posey has announced that he will not seek another term representing Florida’s 8th Congressional District. The Rockledge Republican provided a statement to Florida Politics about an hour after the qualifying deadline to run.

“It has been the greatest honor of Katie’s and my life to represent you in Congress,” the eight-term Congressman said. “And, polls suggest that because of YOUR support, I could remain in the job forever, and we were looking forward to another spirited campaign for a final term in office. However, earlier this week circumstances beyond my control now require me to suspend my re-election campaign.”

Word from Posey comes shortly after former Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos filed to run for Posey’s seat.

Posey endorsed Haridopolos as his preferred successor. He also promised to campaign for former President Donald Trump’s comeback bid for the White House.

“I will continue to devote all possible resources to continue representing you through the end of my current term, helping President Donald Trump return to the oval office, and supporting former Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos, in whom I have the greatest trust and confidence, to take up my battles against the swamp and replace me as your Congressman,” Posey said.

“There are many people qualified to replace me. Unfortunately, until Mike Haridopolos committed to run, the other declared candidates were not among them,” Posey said. “For many years, Mike has served as my Congressional Finance Committee Chairman, while I have mentored him to replace me. Mike was, and remains, my first choice to represent you, me, and our district in Congress.”

Haridopolos faces Joe Babits and John Hearton in a Republican Primary. Democrats Sandy Kennedy and Daniel McDow have also qualified as candidates and will face off in a Democratic Primary.

Posey shared that he had spoken to Haridopolos before making his decision.

“Without going into a lot of personal details, stars aligned during the past week and Mike decided he was ready for Congress. I enthusiastically endorse him and will do everything I can to help him get elected,” Posey said.

“Mike’s conservative values and work ethic are superior and unlike others who have filed to run against me, Mike has never lied to me or tried to undermine efforts to represent our district. Mike knows our district and has stayed involved at local, state, and federal levels. He is clearly the kind of representative we need in Congress, and I have no doubt he will excel in the job.”

Notably, Trump had endorsed Posey’s re-election in March. That made it unlikely that he would lose a Primary to a challenger from the Right.

CD 8 remains a heavily Republican seat. In the 2020 Presidential Election, about 58% of voters in the district voted for Republican Donald Trump.

In 2022, Posey easily won re-election over Democrat JoAnne Terry. Posey didn’t face a Primary challenger that year but won 62% of the vote against GOP opponent Scott Caine in a GOP Primary in 2020.

But waiting until after the qualification to announce his withdrawal prevents an opportunity for other prominent candidates in the district to also jump into the race.

Posey won election to Congress in 2008. He now serves on the House Services Committee and its two subcommittees on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions and Housing, Community Development and Insurance.

Before his election to Congress, he served eight years in the Florida Senate. He also previously served in the Florida House and on the Rockledge City Council.

He worked for NASA as part of the Apollo Program before it was ultimately shut down, then founded Posey & Co. Realtors.

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].

One comment

  • Phil Morton

    April 26, 2024 at 9:41 pm

    A jerk till the bitter end, “birth certificate” Posey made sure his preferred candidate got the GOP nod. Now it’s up to Democrats to take advantage of this open seat and flip it BLUE.

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