Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: Oct. 2001, 7th full term.

Born: June 27, 1959, St. Petersburg, FL

Home: Chumuckla, FL

Education: U. of FL, B.A. 1984

Professional Career: Real estate broker, Henry Co. homes; Owner, Jeff Miller Real Estate; Deputy sheriff.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Baptist

Family: Married (Vicki Griswold) , 2 children ; 3 grandchildren

The congressman from the 1st District is Jeff Miller, a Republican who won a special election in October 2001 and quietly climbed through the ranks to become chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee. He has been a forceful advocate for cleaning up waste and inefficiency at the massive Veterans Affairs Department, working successfully with Democrats to cut deals.

The scion of a pioneer farm family that settled in central Florida in the mid-1800s, Miller grew up in Levy County, where his parents raised cattle. He graduated from the University of Florida, where he studied journalism (he eventually worked as a TV weatherman for a time) and became an aide to the state’s longtime agriculture commissioner, Democrat Doyle Conner. In 1998, he moved to Santa Rosa County, his wife’s family’s home, and began to sell real estate. Also in 1998, a year after he switched to the Republican Party, he ran and won his first political campaign, challenging a Republican state representative who had received some negative press after an altercation with a state trooper.

Not long afterward, the 1st District seat came open following the resignation of Republican Rep. Joe Scarborough, who became a talk-show host on the MSNBC cable network. Miller quickly became the favorite of national party leaders. Sensitive to coastal interests, Miller and the other serious contenders all claimed to be ardent environmentalists, an unusual twist in a GOP primary. Miller’s best-known opponent was state Rep. Randy Knepper, chief of staff to the district’s former Democratic representative, Earl Hutto, who retired in 1994. Scarborough endorsed Miller as “a strong voice for northwest Florida.” In the six-candidate contest, Miller got 54% to only 15% for Knepper and 16% for businessman Michael Francisco, a decorated combat pilot. National Democrats made no major effort to win the seat, and Miller won the general election, 66%-28%.

In the House, Miller has compiled a conservative record. His National Journal voting score in 2011 was tied for the most conservative in the House, and he was to the right of most Republicans in the Florida delegation. But in 2013, he occasionally deviated from the right wing. He was one of 68 Republicans who joined most Democrats to defeat a proposal to bar the Transportation Security Administration from conducting security screenings in places other than airports. He also was one of 21 from his party (mostly from Florida) who supported a Democratic amendment -- which failed on a tie -- ensuring that states have the right to regulate energy driling beneath navigable waters within their boundaries.

In contrast to the voluble Scarborough, Miller gained a reputation for being soft-spoken and a good listener. But he also has a decidedly lower profile. When he arrived in Washington, Miller got seats on the Armed Services and Veterans’ Affairs committees, obvious assignments for this district. He made multiple visits to U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq and praised the conduct of the war at a time when Democrats were hammering President George W. Bush on the issue. He worked to protect local military facilities in the base-closing process. In 2004, Congress passed into law Miller’s bill to provide a 100% annuity to surviving military spouses. In 2008, he secured $54 million for an in-patient center at Eglin Hospital and pushed for a new veterans’ hospital near the base to replace one destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. A long-standing foe of oil and gas drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, he relented in 2006, accepting a deal that opened up some offshore drilling but included a ban on drilling rigs in a military training range south of Fort Walton Beach.

Miller also serves on the Select Intelligence Committee. He sought to take over the panel following the departure of Michigan's Mike Rogers in 2015, and there was speculation that he was an early front-runner for that slot. But Speaker John Boehner gave the gavel to California's Devin Nunes despite Miller's having more national-security experience.

With the Republican takeover of the House in 2011, Miller rose to chairman of Veterans’ Affairs. He vowed to press the Veterans Benefit Administration to reduce its significant backlog of benefit claims. He also got two bills signed into law that year. His Restoring GI Bill Fairness Act authorized the Veterans Affairs Department to help pay tuition costs for student veterans at private colleges and universities in seven states. Miller later worked with Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Patty Murray, D-Wash. to find common ground on a bill to give companies a $2,400 tax credit for hiring a veteran previously unemployed for one month, $5,600 for hiring a veteran unemployed for at least six months, and up to $9,600 in tax credits for hiring unemployed veterans with service-connected disabilities. It was signed by President Barack Obama in late November. Miller also has targeted waste and mismanagement at the department. In October 2012, Miller and Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., called for the resignation of VA Chief of Staff John Gingrich over two training conferences in Orlando that cost over $6 million. Gingrich remained in that position, but a critical report on spending at the conferences by the VA inspector general prompted the resignation of Assistant Secretary for Human Resources and Administration John Sepulveda.

When further scandals at the VA erupted in 2014, Miller distanced himself from others in his party who sought to turn them into a political issue. He declined to call for the resignation of Secretary Eric Shinseki, who ultimately resigned. "The secretary is a friend. I believe he is an honorable man who should be saluted for his service to this country," Miller told The Tampa Bay Times. "But he is head of an agency that has a mind and will of its own, and I'm hoping that changes can be made." Later, after weeks of hurling charges at -- and fighting countercharges from -- his liberal Senate counterpart, Vermont Independent Bernie Sanders, he was able to strike a deal in July 2014 with Sanders on a sweeping reform of the agency. The $17 billion package, which both men described as a compromise, included $10 billion in emergency funds to allow veterans to go to outside doctors if they live more than 40 miles from a VA facility or are forced to wait more than 14 days for an appointment.

In January 2015, Miller introduced a bill to permit the VA secretary to order employees to repay their bonuses if they were later found to have contributed to poor care of veterans. He also was highly critical of Obama's proposed fiscal 2016 budget proposal, which asked for authority to reallocate money from the $10 billion program. Miller said he wanted the program to give veterans more care in private clinics. “If there’s going to be any reallocation, it’s going to be to further improve and strengthen the program itself and not address other unspecified needs,” Miller said. He worked to get a bipartisan veteran suicide-prevention bill through the House that month.

With increasing focus on fiscal austerity in the fall of 2011, Miller fought to keep the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program off the chopping block. During an October House Armed Services Committee hearing, Miller argued that the F-35 program would directly or indirectly employ some 127,000 people. Pilots of the F-35s are trained at Eglin in Miller’s district.

When Democrats still controlled the House, Miller was the ranking Republican on the Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on terrorism and unconventional threats. In that role, he worked with Democrats to increase money for the military’s Special Operations Command and for cyber security. After the BP oil spill disaster in 2010, Miller introduced a bill to protect affected homeowners from foreclosures and asked the company to provide up to $1 billion for local governments, businesses, and residents along the Gulf Coast. He also has sponsored a bill to place the face of Ronald Reagan on the half-dollar coin.

In the 2002 primary, Miller faced a rematch with special election primary runner-up Francisco, who criticized his lack of military experience. Miller won 64%-36%. Since then, Democrats have run only token challengers against him.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-4136

(202) 225-3414

CHOB- Cannon House Office Building Room 336
Washington, DC 20515-0901

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-4136

(202) 225-3414

CHOB- Cannon House Office Building Room 336
Washington, DC 20515-0901

DISTRICT OFFICE

(850) 479-1183

(850) 479-9394

4300 Bayou Boulevard Suite 13
Pensacola, FL 32503

DISTRICT OFFICE

(850) 479-1183

(850) 479-9394

4300 Bayou Boulevard Suite 13
Pensacola, FL 32503-2679

DISTRICT OFFICE

(850) 664-1266

(850) 664-0851

348 SW Miracle Strip Parkway Suite 24
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548-5263

DISTRICT OFFICE

(850) 664-1266

(850) 664-0851

348 SW Miracle Strip Parkway Suite 24
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

PO Box 126
Pensacola, FL 32591

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

PO Box 126
Pensacola, FL 32591

EXPORT CONTACTS » *

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Heather Ham-Warren
Legislative Correspondent

Agriculture

Spencer Orenstein
Legislative Assistant

Animal Rights

Spencer Orenstein
Legislative Assistant

Appropriations

Diane Cihota
Legislative Director

Budget

Diane Cihota
Legislative Director

Disaster

Maggie Sullivan
Air Force Fellow

Energy

Spencer Orenstein
Legislative Assistant

Environment

Spencer Orenstein
Legislative Assistant

Family

Heather Ham-Warren
Legislative Correspondent

Finance

Spencer Orenstein
Legislative Assistant

Rodney Hall
Military Legislative Assistant

Govt Ops

Spencer Orenstein
Legislative Assistant

Rodney Hall
Military Legislative Assistant

Heather Ham-Warren
Legislative Correspondent

Health

Spencer Orenstein
Legislative Assistant

Homeland Security

Maggie Sullivan
Air Force Fellow

Rodney Hall
Military Legislative Assistant

Housing

Maggie Sullivan
Air Force Fellow

Heather Ham-Warren
Legislative Correspondent

Human Rights

Heather Ham-Warren
Legislative Correspondent

Immigration

Rodney Hall
Military Legislative Assistant

Intelligence

Rodney Hall
Military Legislative Assistant

Internet

Spencer Orenstein
Legislative Assistant

Judiciary

Heather Ham-Warren
Legislative Correspondent

Labor

Heather Ham-Warren
Legislative Correspondent

Medicare

Spencer Orenstein
Legislative Assistant

Military

Rodney Hall
Military Legislative Assistant

Privacy

Spencer Orenstein
Legislative Assistant

Public Works

Spencer Orenstein
Legislative Assistant

Science

Maggie Sullivan
Air Force Fellow

Small Business

Rodney Hall
Military Legislative Assistant

Social Security

Spencer Orenstein
Legislative Assistant

Tax

Spencer Orenstein
Legislative Assistant

Technology

Maggie Sullivan
Air Force Fellow

Telecommunications

Spencer Orenstein
Legislative Assistant

Rodney Hall
Military Legislative Assistant

Trade

Maggie Sullivan
Air Force Fellow

Transportation

Spencer Orenstein
Legislative Assistant

Veterans

Rodney Hall
Military Legislative Assistant

Welfare

Heather Ham-Warren
Legislative Correspondent

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Jeff Miller
Votes: 238,440
Percent: 69.6%
Jim Bryan
Votes: 92,961
Percent: 27.14%
2012 PRIMARY
Jeff Miller
Unopposed
2010 GENERAL
Jeff Miller
Votes: 170,821
Percent: 80.0%
Joe Cantrell
Votes: 23,250
Percent: 10.89%
John Krause
Votes: 18,253
Percent: 8.55%
2010 PRIMARY
Jeff Miller
Unopposed
2008 GENERAL
Jeff Miller
Votes: 232,559
Percent: 70.18%
James Bryan
Votes: 98,797
Percent: 29.82%
2008 PRIMARY
Jeff Miller
Unopposed
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (80%), 2008 (70%), 2006 (69%), 2004 (77%), 2002 (75%), 2001 special (66%)

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