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|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 20, 2012 – November 20, 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)
Vincent Ross Spano (born July 16, 1966) is an American Republican politician currently serving as the U.S. Representative from Florida's 15th congressional district. He was first elected to Congress in the 2018 elections.
Ross Spano was born in Tampa, and 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 Representatives
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, Ross Spano sponsored a resolution declaring that the viewing of pornography was causing a "public health crisis.” News media pointed out in response that Ross Spano's Twitter account had liked a pornographic video depicting two women engaged in oral sex. Spano defended himself stating that "it will be easy to see that this is not my doing."
US House of Representatives
2018 General election
In 2018 Ross 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, whom he defeated receiving 53% of the vote to Carlson's 47%.
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 Ross Spano indicated that he did not have the necessary funds to loan himself the reported amount. Later reporting revealed that he had in fact been lent the money by personal friends.
In December 2018, Ross Spano admitted in a news release that his campaign financing "may have been in violation of the Federal Campaign Finance Act".
A separate funding controversy occurred when Ross Spano reported receiving only $1 in small donations in the first quarter of 2019 - an unexpectedly small amount. A spokesman for Spano later admitted that the donation came from the Spano campaign itself, with the statement that "“The $1 donation was a test to ensure our systems were working post-swearing in."
On December 18, 2019, Spano voted against both articles of impeachment against Trump. Of the 195 Republicans who voted, all voted against both impeachment articles.
- 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|
In 2019, Spano voted against the Equality Act, a bill that would expand the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. He said the legislation would infringe on religious freedom.
Spano gained widespread 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.
- "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.
- EDT, Maria Perez On 9/20/17 at 8:00 PM (September 20, 2017). "Ted Cruz is not alone—an anti-porn Florida lawmaker also liked a porn video on Twitter". Newsweek. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
- "Anti-porn politician caught liking porn". indy100. September 21, 2017. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
- Smith, Nancy (September 22, 2017). "Porn, Ross Spano and Hypocrisy". Sunshine State News - Florida Political News. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
- "Anti-Porn GOP Lawmaker 'Likes' Twitter Porn Video on Twitter". The Daily Beast. September 20, 2017. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
- Lisi, Brian. "Porn-fighting Republican's Twitter 'Liked' lesbian sex clip". nydailynews.com. 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.
- Final Vote Results for Roll Call 217
- "House Debate on the Equality Act". C-SPAN. May 17, 2019.
- 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
|U.S. House of Representatives|
|Preceded by |
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives |
from Florida's 15th congressional district
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
|Preceded by |
| United States Representatives by seniority |
|116th||Senate: M. Rubio • R. Scott||House: A. Hastings • M. Díaz-Balart • D. Wasserman Schultz • V. Buchanan • G. Bilirakis • K. Castor • B. Posey • T. Deutch • D. Webster • F. Wilson • L. Frankel • T. Yoho • C. Crist • V Demings • N. Dunn • M. Gaetz • A. Lawson • B. Mast • S. Murphy • F. Rooney • J. Rutherford • D. Soto • D. Mucarsel-Powell • D. Shalala • R. Spano • G. Steube • M. Waltz|