Steve Rayburn

From Usgs

Steve Rayburn (born 20 May 1960) is an American politician currently serving as a United States Senator representing the State of Florida. He is a member of the Republican Party.

Steven Matthew Rayburn
Vice Chairman of the Republican National Committee
In Office:
2017 - Present
Served under: Halfhyde
Preceded by Tim Kent
Succeeded by Incumbent
Senator from Florida
In Office:
2017 - Present
Served alongside: Gurlakis
Preceded by Jaime Elzar-Toledo
Succeeded by Incumbent
Born

20 May 1960
Ocala, Florida
Political Party Republican
Spouse Carol Rayburn
Religion Methodist


Contents

Biography

Steven Matthew Rayburn was born on 20 May 1960 in Ocala, Florida. He went to high school in Marion County and in was admitted to the University of Florida in Gainesville, just a half hour's drive from home. He graduated from UF in 1983 with an M.A. in Business and a B.A in Political Science. He then enrolled at the Florida State University College of Law in Tallahassee and earned his J.D in Constitutional Law in 1987. After passing the state bar exam in late 1987, Rayburn joined the constitutional law firm of Peters, McLauglin and Devereaux in Tallahassee and practiced with that firm until 1994, when he opened the firm of Rayburn, Martin and Thomas. His firm became one of the more successful litigants at the Supreme Court of Florida, and was noted for an amicus brief it filed in Bush v. Gore (2000) in favor of Gore, but chastising SCOFLA and the Legislature for failing to address the failings of the state Clemency Board in restoring voting rights to black ex-convicts, inaction which likely threw the state of Florida into George W. Bush's column.

In 2009, Rayburn sold his stake in the firm and settled down at a ranch in southern Alachua County just outside of Gainesville. He made a small fortune with his sale as well as personal investments in gold and silver, and gave regular speeches at the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida in addition to part-time legal advocacy. In early 2014, at the request of friend Congressman Cliff Stearns, Rayburn decided to run for the open Congressional seat in Florida's 6th District. He survived a tough Republican primary, but won the general election rather easily in the heavily-Republican district.

2016 Senate Campaign

In Washington, Rayburn quickly gained a reputation as a charismatic and effective lawmaker, and after the surprising defeat of Constantine Gurlakis in the U.S. Senate election of 2014, quickly gained internal support for running against Senator Jaime Elzar-Toledo in his upcoming election for a full term in the Senate. He declared to run against Toledo in late 2015 and ran a surprisingly successful insurgent campaign, and by the halfway point of the campaign was in a statistical dead heat with Toledo. Helped by an infusion of cash from the national Republican Party, Rayburn delivered a knockout blow to the incumbent Toledo with two strong last-minute advertisements along with a strong finish to his campaigning. Late on election night, Rayburn was declared the winner of the race by just over 100,000 votes out of about 5.5 million cast by Floridians, for a total of 50.95%.

Senate Career

Steve Rayburn was sworn into the United States Senate on January 3, 2017. In his time in the Senate, he has become known as an extreme fiscal conservative; he has proposed a variety of tax credits as well as a bill to end federal taxes on tips. He has also shown a commitment to cutting federal spending; in his first session as a Senator, the Senate passed amendments proposed by Rayburn to eliminate federal tobacco subsidies and to repeal the No Child Left Behind Act. He was one of Senator Peter Vandenberg's strongest supporters following his strong backing of Israel in the Syrian conflict, and the two have become a tag team when attacking bills they feel are unconstitutional. He has expanded on his record from the House as a 2nd Amendment supporter with bills to roll back a number of federal restrictions on firearm ownership, including a repeal of the Gun Free School Zones Act and Homeland Security prohibitions on the arming of flight crews on American airliners.

2020 Presidential Campaign

In a surprise move, Senator Rayburn heeded advice to run for the Republican nomination for President in 2020. Starting out very low in the polls, he had a surprising amount of endorsements and led all Republican candidates in PAC donations, and was leading in New Hampshire going into the Iowa caucuses. However, a last place finish in Iowa combined with a stellar comeback by Senate Majority Leader Akeem Mellis (R-CO) left him in 2nd place in the Granite State and falling fast in South Carolina. Additionally, Rayburn contracted a particularly vicious case of mononucleosis in the days leading up to the primary, which eventually caused him to withdraw from the race and support House Speaker Dale Thomas (R-TX). He left the race with nearly $15 million on hand.

Personal Life

Senator Rayburn has been married to Carol Silvers since 1982. They have three children, Martin (b. 1985), Sarah (b. 1987) and Samuel (b. 1992). Martin is an elected member of the Gainesville City Commission, while Sarah is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Florida. Sam currently serves as a faculty assistant at the Ludwig Von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama.

When not working in Washington, Rayburn lives with his wife at his ranch near Micanopy, Florida.

Preceded by
Tim Kent
Vice Chairman of the Republican National Committee
2017 - Present
Served under: Halfhyde
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by
Jaime Elzar-Toledo
Senator from Florida
2017 - Present
Served alongside: Gurlakis
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by
Cliff Stearns
Congressman
2015 - 2016
Succeeded by
J.D Surratt


United States presidential election, 2020
General polls · Fundraising · Debates · Endorsements
Democratic Party Primary polls · Primaries · Convention · Debates
Candidates Whitney Mason (Presidential nominee)/Andrew Brockmeier (Vice Presidential nominee)
Withdrawn David Cromartie · Elizabeth Daniels · Ann Rodriguez
Republican Party Primary polls · Primaries · Convention · Debates
Candidates Akeem Mellis (Presidential nominee)/Tim Kent (Vice Presidential nominee) · Tim Kent · Daniel Morey · Steve Rayburn · Dale Thomas
Withdrawn AA Alvera · Kyle Baccei · John Dunn · Felix Cavendish · Constantine Gurlakis · James MacGillicutty · Andrew Merrilin · Brian Murphy · Ryan Walsh
Other 2020 elections: House · Senate · Gubernatorial · Presidential
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