Rep. Allen Boyd (D)
Elected: 1996, 7th term.
Born: June 6, 1945, Valdosta, GA .
Education: N. FL Jr. Col., A.A. 1966, FL St. U., B.S. 1969.
Family: Married (Cissy); 3 children.
Military career: Army 1969–71 (Vietnam).
Elected office: FL House of Reps., 1989–96.
Professional Career: Farmer.
The congressman from the 2nd District is Allen Boyd, a Democrat first elected in 1996. A lifelong farmer, Boyd grew up in Monticello in Jefferson County just east of Tallahassee. He graduated from Florida State University and served in the Army during the Vietnam War. His political career began when he won a special election to the state House in 1989. He won his seat in Congress after Rep. Pete Peterson, a moderate Democrat and Vietnam prisoner of war, retired after three terms, saying he believed in term limits. In the Democratic primary, Boyd took 48% of the vote to 26% for Leon County Commissioner Anita Davis. Boyd easily won the runoff 64%-36%. In the general election, Boyd campaigned with Blue Dog conservative Democrats and outspent the Republican by 2-to-1 to win a solid 59%-40% victory.
|Allen Boyd (D)||216,804||(62%)||($962,421)|
|Mark Mulligan (R)||133,404||(38%)||($33,430)|
|Allen Boyd (D)||Unopposed|
Prior Winning Percentages: 2006 (100%), 2004 (62%), 2002 (67%), 2000 (72%), 1998 (100%), 1996 (59%)
In the House, Boyd has worked as a behind-the-scenes consensus builder. With one of the chamber’s most centrist voting records, he called himself a “moderate Democrat with a social conscience.” Soon after Democrats won control of Congress in 2006, Boyd and other Blue Dog leaders met with President Bush to explore possible areas of agreement. “The Blue Dogs believe in partnership, not partisanship,” he said. Since then, Boyd has been a leader of the Blue Dogs efforts to impose “pay-go” restrictions on new spending and tax cuts. They had little immediate success, but planned to renew the effort in President Obama’s first term. In January 2009, Boyd was one of 11 House Democrats to vote against the initial $787 billion economic-stimulus bill, but he voted in favor of the final version, after a bipartisan Senate group made changes to produce what he called a “smarter” stimulus.
In December 2004, Boyd caused a stir among Democrats when he co-sponsored a bipartisan bill that created private retirement accounts in Social Security and lowered benefits. He said that he would seek additional Democratic supporters, but he ultimately found none in the House. His goal, he said, was “a fair balance between preserving the basic benefit of Social Security while also encouraging individual responsibility.” He opposed President Bush’s 2001 tax cuts but voted to repeal the Clinton administration’s ergonomics regulation. Later, he opposed giving the president more powers to negotiate free-trade agreements, but voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq. In 2003, he was one of 16 House Democrats who voted for the Republicans’ bill to create a prescription-drug benefit under Medicare and was taken to the woodshed by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as a result. As a member of the defense and agriculture subcommittees of the Appropriations Committee, Boyd has delivered largess to local universities, farmers and military facilities.
He has been easily re-elected. In 2004, he was challenged by Republican state Rep. Bev Kilmer, who raised substantial funds and said she would support Bush’s agenda on defense, terrorism, health care and the economy. Boyd countered that he sometimes supported Bush, but said that voters wanted somebody who would be independent. He won handily, 62%-38%. He has been sometimes mentioned as a possible Senate candidate, including when Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., said that he would not seek re-election in 2010. But Boyd said in January 2009 that he would not run because he would have “an even stronger voice” on policy decisions in the House.