When Republicans finally captured control of the U.S. House of Representatives last week, Florida’s GOP delegation, with 21 members, emerged as one of the most powerful, naturally formed voting blocs in the upcoming 118th Congress. Only Texas, with 25 Republican members, has a larger delegation. But despite the outsized influence, the Sunshine State remains woefully underrepresented when it comes to powerful leadership posts or prestigious committee chairmanships.
Part of the problem can be explained by a simple lack of seniority in with the Florida delegation. Florida’s longest serving member is Mario Díaz-Balart, first elected in 2002, followed by Gus Bilirakis and Vern Buchanan, both elected in 2006. With only a few exceptions, the rest of Florida’s Republican delegation is comprised mostly of fresh faces elected in 2016 or later.
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