Our Representatives

Steve Southerland (R), Congressman, Second Congressional District

Steve Southerland

William "Steve" Southerland, II is the U.S. Representative for Florida's 2nd congressional district. He is a member of the Republican Party.

Southerland was raised in Panama City, Florida. He is the fourth generation of five in his family to live in Bay County. He earned a B.S. degree in Business Management from Troy State University and an A.A. degree in Mortuary Science from Jefferson State Junior College.

Southerland is current co-owner/President of Southerland Family Funeral Homes, founded in 1955. He is also a founding partner in two other businesses, Genesis Granite & Stone, LLC and K & B Land and Timber Company, LLC. He was appointed by the Governor of Florida to be a member of the Florida Board of Funeral Directors, and had the distinct honor of serving as Chairman during his second term. Southerland served as Chairman of the Bay County Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of the Salvation Army Advisory Board as well as community boards including the Florida State University Panama City Development Board and the Covenant Hospice Foundation Board.

Southerland defeated Democratic incumbent Allen Boyd on November 2, 2010. Independent candidates Paul C. McKain and Dianne Berryhill were also on the ballot, and Ray Netherwood had qualified as a write-in candidate. Southerland is the first freshman Republican to represent the 2nd since its formation in 1963 (it was the 9th District from 1963-1967 and has been the 2nd since 1967). The only other Republican to ever represent this district, Bill Grant, was originally elected as a Democrat in 1986, but switched parties midway through his second term.


Bill Nelson (D), Senator, Florida

Bill Nelson

Perhaps the two most defining events in Bill Nelson's life occurred in 1972 - he got married to Grace Cavert and was elected for the first time to public office. Today, over three decades later, he's earned a reputation as a principled family man, a staunch advocate for all Floridians and a moderate voice in the increasingly partisan world of national politics.

Florida's own Bill Nelson was elected to the U.S. Senate in November 2000, after serving six years as a member of the Florida Cabinet. He currently serves on the Senate Commerce, Armed Services, Budget, Finance, Intelligence, and Aging committees and is recognized as the leading congressional expert on NASA.

As a member of the Senate's Commerce Committee, Nelson has taken on the cause of privacy by supporting measures to protect consumers from identity theft and working on legislation to stop unsolicited e-mails that plague individuals and businesses.

In his role on the Senate's Armed Services Committee, he has worked tirelessly for the families of Florida's men and women serving overseas by addressing their concerns about basic equipment needs, such as the lack of body armor, and the hardships facing many from extended tours of duty. He's also opposed efforts to reduce the military's aircraft carrier fleet as our nation continues to fight the global threat of terrorism.


Marco Rubio (R), Senator, Florida

Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio is the junior United States Senator from Florida and member of the Republican Party. At the age of 39, he is the second youngest current U.S. Senator, being only one week older than Mike Lee of Utah. Rubio was the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives during the 2007 and 2008 legislative sessions. He was first elected to the Florida House on January 25, 2000, from the 111th district.

He attended Tarkio College for one year on a football scholarship from 1989 to 1990, before enrolling at Santa Fe College, and then the University of Florida. He earned his B.A. degree in political science from the University of Florida in 1993, and his J.D. degree cum laude from the University of Miami in 1996.

Marco Rubio served as a City Commissioner for West Miami before being elected to the Florida House of Representatives for the 111th district in a special election on January 25, 2000. He has won each of his re-election bids. In November 2006, he was elected Speaker of the Florida State House for the 2006–08 term. On May 5, 2009, Rubio announced that he planned to run for the United States Senate in 2010 for the Republican seat being vacated by Sen. Mel Martinez, who had resigned and been replaced by George LeMieux. On November 2, 2010, Marco Rubio won the senatorial election.