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Florida’s 8th Congressional District includes Brevard and Indian River counties, as well as parts of eastern Orange County. The area has a population of nearly 700,000 people, according to the last U.S. Census, and includes the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, as well as Patrick Air Force Base.
[LIVE RACE RESULTS: Scroll to bottom of story to see all race returns starting at 7 p.m. on Nov. 3]
Incumbent Bill Posey currently holds the seat and will have to beat Jim Kennedy to continue serving the district.
Here’s what you need to know about the candidates:
Bill Posey (R)
Posey is running for his fifth term in office. The Florida native grew up in Brevard County and attended Cocoa Beach High School. Posey graduated from Brevard Community College and worked at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center until the end of the Apollo program. After working in the space program, Posey started a real estate company. Prior to being elected to the U.S. House, Posey served on the Rockledge City Council and then in both the Florida House and Senate. As Congressman, Posey served on the Committee on Financial Services and Committee on Science, Space and Technology. The Rockledge resident has been an advocate for greater accountability in government, according to his website. His key issues include space policy, protecting the Indian River Lagoon, border security and health care reform. His voting record shows he votes with the Republican Party on most bills, 91.8% of the time, according to GovTrack.us. Read more about Posey and his stance on certain issues at posey.house.gov.
Jim Kennedy (D)
According to his campaign website, Kennedy is an engineer and scientist at the Kennedy Space Center. He first joined the Navy at the age of 17 then went to Navy tech school to become an Aviation Electrician’s Mate 3rd class. When he returned from his deployment in Sicily and Turkey, he went to college and earned a bachelor’s in electrical engineering, and later his MBA from Harvard University. After graduation, he worked as an engineer designing systems for the Navy, worked for the power utilities industry for nearly a decade then designed boats before his work at the Space Center. Kennedy believes in health care for all Americans, stimulating the economy with a focus on working families and small businesses and term limits. He lives in Merritt Island with his wife, Stacey, and their 5-year-old twins. You can read more about where he stands on several issues by clicking here.
Election Day is Nov. 3.