Tea Party Favorite, Food Stamp Foe Rep. Steve Southerland Loses Re-Election in Florida

Miguel Juarez/Zuma Press

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.


It’s going to be a bad night for Democrats, but they’re getting a bit of good news out of Florida’s Second District: Republican Rep. Steve Southerland has lost his re-election bid to Democrat Gwen Graham. Southerland, a former mortician, was elected to Congress in the 2010 tea party wave, and quickly made a name for himself with his advocacy of major cuts to food stamp programs. He was thought to be a lock for re-election in this Florida Panhandle district, but Graham—a former school official and daughter of former Florida Gov. Bob Graham—proved a formidable challenger.

Southerland was almost singularly devoted to the cause of slashing food assistance, calling it the “defining moral issue of our time” and “what I’m about.” In last year’s controversial farm bill, Southerland proposed a staggering $39 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. His controversial reform plan was widely seen as a factor that stalled the bill in Congress last year. 

 

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate