Florida Second Congressinoal District

Regan McCarthy

North Florida’s new congresswoman elect is planning her strategy for her new job.  Democrat Gwen Graham says she knows she’s got her work cut out for her. Graham is heading to congress along with a wave of Republican lawmakers voters put into office Tuesday. But she says she’s up for the challenge.

 “And, I’m the kind of person that I continue to reach out to folks and build bridges that need to be built at this point,” Graham says. “So I will try hard to make sure that this gridlock and dysfunction that we have found, that I can be at least one voice in changing that.”

LHatter / WFSU News

Democrat Gwen Graham has ousted Republican incumbent Steve Southerland in one of the most contentious congressional races North Florida has seen in years.  Graham won by about 2,000 votes.

Graham spent election night in Tallahassee with supporters and her family – including her father, former Florida Governor Bob Graham.


North Florida Congressman Steve Southerland is refusing to debate his Democratic opponent Gwen Graham until negative ads about him stop running, but that doesn’t mean Graham may not get any debate at all.

The write-in candidate for the job, Luther Lee, says he’s willing to take Southerland’s place. Lee says he’s a regular guy, just trying to make a difference.

“I’ve been working class my whole life, he says. "I wasn’t head of a funeral home business worth a million bucks and I didn’t have a father that had been in politics a long time.”

The 2014 election cycle is still a year away, but in North Florida, the campaign for the state’s Second Congressional District is already in high gear.

National Democrats smell blood.

“What voters are looking for, is someone to be the adult in the room and get something done," says Andy Stone, Spokesman for the House Majority SuperPac, which is looking to flip the U.S. House of Representatives from Red to Blue in 2014.

Congressional Candidates Court Female Voters

Oct 31, 2012
Steven Rodriguez / WFSU-FM

Former State Senator Al Lawson, who is currently running for congress in Florida's 2nd Congressional District, says women will play a crucial role in deciding next week’s election.  On Wednesday Lawson asked women for their vote during a round table discussion in Tallahassee.