Vincent Ross Spano (born July 16, 1966) is an American politician currently serving as the U.S. Representative from Florida's 15th congressional district. The district stretches from Lakeland to the northeastern suburbs of Tampa. A Republican, he was first elected to Congress in the 2018 elections. He ran for reelection in the 2020 elections but was defeated in the Republican primary.
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Florida's 15th district
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2019
|Preceded by||Dennis Ross|
|Member of the Florida House of Representatives|
from the 59th district
November 6, 2012 – November 6, 2018
|Succeeded by||Adam Hattersley|
Vincent Ross Spano
July 16, 1966
Tampa, Florida, U.S.
|Education||University of South Florida (BA)|
Florida State University (JD)
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Ross Spano was born in Tampa and currently lives in nearby Dover. He graduated from Brandon High School. He later attended the University of South Florida, where he graduated with a BA in history in 1994, and the Florida State University College of Law, receiving a JD cum laude in 1998, where he was a member of the FSU moot court team and the FSU Journal of Transnational Law and Policy. Ross Spano was admitted to the Florida bar the same year.
Florida House of RepresentativesEdit
In 2012, following the reconfiguration of the Florida House of Representatives districts, Spano ran in the newly created 59th District, and faced Joe Wicker, Betty Jo Tompkins, and Mike Floyd in the Republican primary. He emerged victorious with 40% of the vote, with Wicker close behind having 38% of the vote. Spano ran in the general election against the Democratic nominee, Gail Gottlieb. Spano defeated Gottlieb with 51% of the vote, coming out ahead by 1,051 votes.
In the Florida House of Representatives, Spano serves on the Choice and Innovation Subcommittee, Civil Justice Subcommittee, Health Quality Subcommittee, Higher Education & Workforce Subcommittee, and Judiciary Committee. Ross Spano also served on the Federal Judicial Nominating Commission during his tenure in the Florida House.
While serving in the legislature Spano authored numerous pieces of human trafficking legislation. He sponsored a bill to allow judges "to vacate certain criminal convictions if the offender can prove that they committed them under duress," as would happen in a situation in which someone had been illegally trafficked.
In 2017, Spano sponsored a resolution declaring that the viewing of pornography was causing a "public health crisis."
US House of RepresentativesEdit
2018 general electionEdit
In 2018, Spano ran to represent Florida's 15th Congressional district in the United States House of Representatives. He defeated Neil Combee in the Republican Primary, winning approximately 44% of the votes to Combee's 34%. Spano went on to face Democratic candidate Kristen Carlson in the general election. Spano defeated Carlson, receiving 53% of the vote to Carlson's 47%. It was the closest race in the district in 26 years, when Charles Canady only won by five points in 1992 in what was then the 12th District. Additionally, it was only the fourth time that a Democrat had managed 40 percent of the vote in the district since Andy Ireland switched parties in 1984 in what was then the 10th District (it was renumbered the 12th in 1992, and has been the 15th since 2013).
During Spano's election to the House of Representatives in 2018, he loaned his campaign more than $100,000 from what he reported as personal funds - a move that drew media attention as financial disclosures forms filed by Spano indicated that he did not have the necessary funds to loan himself the reported amount. It was later reported that Spano had been lent the money by friends. In December 2018, Spano wrote in a news release that his campaign financing "may have been in violation of the Federal Campaign Finance Act". In November 2019, it was reported that the Justice Department was conducting a criminal investigation into Spano over possible campaign finance violations. Spano has denied any wrongdoing.
Spano gained attention when he quoted civil rights leader Coretta Scott King to explain his opposition to the Equality Act, which would outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity; King was a leading supporter of LGBT rights.
- United States House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
- United States House Committee on Small Business
|Independent||Dave Johnson (write-in)||15||0.0|
|Independent||Jeffrey G. Rabinowitz (write-in)||3||0.0|
|Independent||Alek Bynzar (write-in)||2||0.0|
|Republican||Ross Spano (incumbent)||29,240||48.8|
- "Ross Spano "excited" to have Dem contender for District 59 race". St. Petersburg Times. June 26, 2013. Retrieved July 3, 2014.
- Johnston, Caitlin (April 18, 2014). "Human trafficking issue rises to the forefront". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
- Perry, Mitch. "Ross Spano files bill declaring pornography a 'public health crisis'". Retrieved April 19, 2019.
- Roldan, Roberto. "Ross Spano Beats Out Neil Combee To Be Republican Nominee For U.S. Rep Seat". wusfnews.wusf.usf.edu. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
- Taylor, Langston. "Florida election results: Follow Governor, U.S. Senate and all races here". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
- March, William. "So where exactly did Ross Spano get more than $100,000 in his bid for Congress?". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
- March, William. "Missing: Ross Spano's financial disclosure required to run for Congress". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
- March, William. "Ross Spano acknowledges possible 'violation' of campaign finance law". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
- Bresnahan, John (November 14, 2019). "DOJ investigating GOP Rep. Ross Spano over alleged campaign-finance violations". Politico. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
- Weigel, David (August 19, 2020). "Rep. Spano, facing probe of possible 2018 campaign finance violations, is ousted in Florida GOP primary". Washington Post. Retrieved August 19, 2020.
- Mazzei, Patricia (August 19, 2020). "Representative Ross Spano Loses Florida Republican Primary". New York Times. Miami. Retrieved August 19, 2020.
- Contorno, Steve (May 17, 2019). "How Florida members of Congress voted on historic LGBTQ protection bill". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at the Library of Congress
- Florida House of Representatives - Ross Spano
- Appearances on C-SPAN
|Florida House of Representatives|
| Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 59th district
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 15th congressional district
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
| United States Representatives by seniority