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2001 Florida's 1st congressional district special election

The 2001 special election for Florida's 1st congressional district took place on October 16, 2001, to fill the vacancy caused by Representative Joe Scarborough's resignation. Florida's 1st congressional district was a staunchly conservative district stretching from Panama City Beach to Pensacola in the Florida Panhandle.

Florida's 1st congressional district special election, 2001

← 2000 October 16, 2001 (2001-10-16) 2002 →
  Jefferson Miller.jpg No image.svg
Nominee Jeff Miller Steve Briese
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 53,247 22,695
Percentage 65.68% 27.99%

Representative before election

Joe Scarborough
Republican

Elected Representative

Jeff Miller
Republican

State Representative Jeff Miller, the Republican nominee, easily defeated Steve Briese, a financial writer and the Democratic nominee.

Democratic primaryEdit

CandidatesEdit

  • Steve Briese, financial writer, Army veteran[1]
  • Chuck Lynch

ResultsEdit

Democratic primary results,[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Steve Briese 12,135 76.80%
Democratic Chuck Lynch 3,666 23.20%
Total votes 15,801 100.00%

Republican primaryEdit

CandidatesEdit

  • Jeff Miller, Florida State Representative
  • Michael C. Francisco, retired Air Force Colonel[1]
  • Randy Knepper, former congressional aide to Representative Earl Hutto[3]
  • Bob Condon, attorney, 2000 Republican candidate for Congress[1]
  • Robert "Bob" Pappas, retired Marines Colonel[1]
  • Ken Revell

ResultsEdit

Republican primary results[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jeff Miller 24,217 54.13%
Republican Michael C. Francisco 7,078 15.82%
Republican Randy Knepper 6,536 14.61%
Republican Bob Condon 3,818 8.53%
Republican Robert "Bob" Pappas 2,805 6.27%
Republican Ken Revell 288 0.64%
Total votes 44,742 100.00%

General electionEdit

CampaignEdit

Political commentators widely expected that Miller, who had previously represented parts of the 1st District in the state legislature, would easily triumph over Briese and John G. Ralls, Jr., a podiatrist running as an independent candidate,[5] given the district's strong conservative lean.[3] Nevertheless, to promote his campaign, Briese walked 100 miles across the district. He campaigned on his service in the military, which he argued was particularly important in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks, which occurred a little more than a month before the election. Given the location of seven military installations in the district, including Pensacola Naval Air Station and Eglin Air Force Base, Briese emphasized both his experience in the military and his time working as a contractor on repair projects for some of the bases.[5] Miller, meanwhile, emphasized his support for then-President George W. Bush, saying, "Our president needs a partner in the 1st Congressional District. I am ready to be that partner."[6] However, all three candidates announced their support for then-President George W. Bush's leadership in the War on Terror.[5]

Ultimately, owing to the conservative nature of the district, Miller defeated Briese and Ralls in a landslide, and won his first term in Congress.

ResultsEdit

Florida's 1st congressional district special election, 2001[7]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jeff Miller 53,547 65.68
Democratic Steve Briese 22,695 27.99
Independent John G. Ralls, Jr. 5,115 6.31
Write-ins 14 0.02
Total votes 81,071 100.00
Republican hold

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d "Pensacola son, father both want Scarborough's House seat". The Florida Times-Union. June 5, 2001. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  2. ^ "July 24, 2001 Special Primary, Congress 1 & House 1, Democratic Primary". Florida Department of State Division of Elections. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Around the State-Northwest-Aug. 2001". Florida Trend. August 1, 2001. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  4. ^ "July 24, 2001 Special Primary, Congress 1 & House 1, Republican Primary". Florida Department of State Division of Elections. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c Kaczor, Bill (October 6, 2001). "Democratic vet focuses congressional race on terrorism". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  6. ^ "Anthrax delays Miller's oath after Panhandle victory". The Florida Times-Union. October 17, 2001. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  7. ^ "October 16, 2001 Special General, Congress 1 & House 1". Florida Department of State Division of Elections. Retrieved May 15, 2017.