Daniel Webster

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Republican incumbent, Congressional District 11

Public Service

  • U.S. Representative for District 11

  • (first elected in 2010)

  • Former State Senator (1998-2008, Majority Leader 2006-2008)

  • Former State Representative (1980-1998, Speaker of the House 1996-1998)

Occupation

Owner, family air conditioning/heating business

Education

Georgia Institute of Technology, B.S., Electrical Engineering, 1971

Religion

Baptist

Republican incumbent Rep. Daniel Webster of Clermont will face Laura Loomer and Gaviel E. Soriano in the primary in the redrawn Congressional District 11, which now includes Winter Garden, Ocoee, Oakland and Windermere.


A career politician, Webster, 73, has held political office for more than half his life. He began public service in the Florida House and was the longest serving legislator in the state until he was term-limited out in 1998.


Webster, who was first elected to Congress in 2010 as part of the Tea Party wave, voted against impeaching Donald Trump in his first trial but didn’t vote in the second. He was one of the 147 Republicans who voted to overturn the 2020 election the day after the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.


This year, Webster introduced two bills important for Florida and other states in disaster-prone zones. His Resilient America Bill funnels unspent money from the federal Hazard Mitigation Grant Program to the Disaster Relief Fund so it can be redistributed to communities readying for or recovering from disasters. The second, the SPEED Recovery Act, simplifies and expedites the disaster recovery process so that projects can proceed quickly. Both bipartisan bills passed the House and are now in the Senate.


Webster has voted against much of President Biden’s agenda, including the American Rescue Plan Act, which included funds for reopening schools and providing $1,400 in individual pandemic relief payments. He also voted against the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which funds bridge repair, Amtrak maintenance, clean drinking water, high-speed internet, power infrastructure upgrades and renewable energy.


He voted against bills that restrict foreign involvement in U.S. elections, require political campaigns to report offers of foreign assistance, make it a federal crime to mislead voters about when and where to vote and what voting qualifications are and that require states with Voting Rights Act violations to have federal approval before changing their voting rules.


Webster holds staunchly conservative positions on LGBTQ+ issues, immigration and abortion. This year he voted to make it a crime to perform abortions after 20 weeks, except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. He also voted in favor of Kate’s Law, which imposes more penalties on illegal immigrants who commit crimes, get deported and then illegally re-enter the U.S. As we were putting this guide together, the House passed the Right to Contraception Act, which would make access to contraceptives — and the ability for healthcare providers to prescribe them — a federal right. Contraceptives have been shown to reduce unwanted pregnancies and thus the need for abortion. Webster voted against it.


Webster opposed the recent bipartisan gun control law, saying, “I am concerned that it does more to chip away at law-abiding citizens' Second Amendment rights than prevent violent crimes.” He also voted against the new bipartisan Active Shooter Alert Act, which will establish a national system for sending out AMBER-style alerts to people in specific areas during active-shooter emergencies.


Webster is also a member of the Republican Study Committee, which in June, released its Blueprint to Save America, outlining a broad range of GOP goals if they retake the House in November. Some of their goals include raising the retirement age to get full Social Security benefits and not interfering with prescription drug pricing.


Every year since he entered Congress in 2011, Webster delivers a personal check to the Bureau of Fiscal Service at the Department of Treasury for the difference between his current salary and 2008 compensation levels as his contribution to reduce the deficit. He also keeps a running tally of the money he hasn’t spent to run his Congressional office and recently announced that since 2011, he’s returned more than $4 million to U.S. taxpayers.

— Norine Dworkin