Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R)
Elected: 2000, 5th term.
Born: Sept. 1, 1944, Jacksonville .
Education: U. of GA, B.A. 1966, U. of FL, J.D. 1969.
Family: Married (Kitty); 2 children.
Elected office: FL House of Reps., 1972-78; FL Senate 1986-93.
Professional Career: Investment banker, 1980-2000.
The congressman from the 4th District is Ander Crenshaw, a Republican first elected in 2000. He grew up in Jacksonville, where he has family roots dating to the early 20th century. The son of a lawyer, he attended the University of Georgia on a basketball scholarship, then graduated from the University of Florida law school. His wife’s father, Claude Kirk, was a Republican elected governor in 1966, then defeated in 1970. Crenshaw was elected to the state House in 1972 and served for six years, before running unsuccessfully for secretary of state. He then became an investment banker. In 1980, he ran for the U.S. Senate and finished third of six in the 1980 Republican primary, which was won by Paula Hawkins. From 1986 until 1993, he served in the state Senate and in 1992, became the first Republican state Senate president in 118 years. He ran for governor in 1994 but finished fourth in the primary, far behind Jeb Bush, who narrowly lost to Lawton Chiles in November. Crenshaw’s opportunity to run for the House came in 2000, when Republican Rep. Tillie Fowler announced that she would honor her promise to serve only four terms. Crenshaw was promptly endorsed by local Republican leaders, which discouraged several potential candidates. He won the primary 70%-30% and the general election 67%-31%. He has won re-election easily since then.
|Ander Crenshaw (R)||224,112||(65%)||($613,594)|
|Jay McGovern (D)||119,330||(35%)||($159,929)|
|Ander Crenshaw (R)||Unopposed|
Prior Winning Percentages: 2006 (70%), 2004 (100%), 2002 (100%), 2000 (67%)
In the House, Crenshaw is a reliable conservative. Although his tall frame makes him hard to miss in a crowd, he has not sought the limelight. He says he adheres to former President Reagan’s motto: “There’s no limit to what you can do as long as you don’t care who gets the credit.” He was his freshman class’s liaison to the Republican leadership, and he became friends with former Majority Whip Roy Blunt, who later named him to chair a House GOP budget task force. In his second term, Crenshaw won a seat on the Appropriations Committee, where his top priorities are the district’s large military and veterans’ facilities. He pushed successfully for new veterans’ cemeteries in Jacksonville and Sarasota, and he fought for expanded disability coverage for Gulf War veterans.
In 2005, he waged an unsuccessful battle to save the USS John F. Kennedy, a carrier ship based in Mayport that was decommissioned by the Pentagon in 2007. But he did manage to slip a provision into the 2008 military construction spending bill telling the Navy to start work on converting Mayport to a nuclear base. In 2009, the Pentagon announced that a carrier would be moved from Norfolk to Mayport by 2014, despite objections by Virginia officials.
Crenshaw made a bid for the senior Republican seat on the Budget Committee, raising nearly $1 million for other Republican candidates in the 2006 election to pay his dues. But the slot went to Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, who had less seniority than Crenshaw. He was not helped by his role in an earlier lobbying scandal that felled former Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas: Crenshaw had traveled with DeLay on a trip to South Korea in 2001 that had been paid for by lobbyists close to DeLay. Crenshaw also was on the wrong side of a pitched leadership battle for DeLay’s successor; he backed Blunt for the job, but John Boehner of Ohio emerged the winner.