SARASOTA — U.S. Rep. Greg Steube will be returning to Washington.
The first-term congressman will continue to represent the 17th District after a dominating victory over Democrat Allen Ellison and a third-party candidate, Theodore “Pink Eye” Murray.
“I’m honored that the 17th district of Florida gave me the opportunity to represent them,” he said.
On Tuesday night, his lead in Charlotte County was about 64% to 35% over Ellison.
With 100% of Sarasota County precincts reporting, Steube won 62.26% to 36.71% with Murray tallying up 1.03%
Ellison said he will look toward the future and how he can help the community.
“We’re definitely moving forward to the next election cycle,” he said. “I’m just happy that we were able to pull together so many people from across the country. I’m humbled by this process and so thankful.”
But he also admitted he needs a little time to recharge.
“I want to rest but definitely want to see what the future holds and what we can possible do,” Ellison said.
Steube noted that President Donald Trump won the 17th District by 26 points in 2016.
“I certainly felt confident going into the race that it would be very hard for a Democrat to win the campaign,” he said.
Because of that, he concentrated on assisting other GOP candidates this cycle in hopes of flipping the House of Representatives for Republicans.
“We only need to take 17 seats nationwide to be successful,” he said.
In his second term, he has ideas, especially one for former members of the military.
“If we flip the House, there’s a lot of things I’d like to get done... the True Choice Bill for Veterans,” is the main one, he said.
A Republican-controlled Congress would do that for the Veterans’ True Choice Act, he believes.
The bill would amend U.S. Code title 10 and provide “eligibility for TRICARE Select to veterans with service-connected disabilities, and for other purposes,” according to the bill.
That would free up veterans to use their health care providers of their choice.
“I’ve had that bill filed for the last year or so. If we have the House back, that’s something we could get done. That’s something that would be absolutely a game-changer for veterans.”