Vern Buchanan

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Vern Buchanan currently serves the 13th Congressional district of Florida

Vern Buchanan, a Republican, has represented the Thirteenth Congressional District of Florida in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2007. (map)

Record and controversies

General information about important bills and votes for can be found in Congresspedia's articles on legislation. You can add information you find on how Vern Buchanan voted by clicking the "[edit]" link to the right and typing it in. Remember to cite your sources!

Iraq War

For more information see the chart of U.S. House of Representatives votes on the Iraq War.

Environmental record

For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal

SBA Veterans' Programs Act of 2007

Buchanan sponsored the SBA Veterans' Programs Act of 2007, which the House passed in a voice vote on June 18, 2007. This bill aimed to increase opportunities through programs in the Small Business Administration for veterans seeking to start small businesses.[1] The bill would:

  • Direct the Associate Administrator to increase veteran outreach by ensuring that the Veteran Business Outreach Centers regularly participate, nationwide, in workshops of the Transition Assistance Program of the Department of Labor. A center could provide grants to eligible entities located in TAP locations to make presentations on the opportunities available from the DBA for recently separated veterans to include business training resources from the SBA. A report on the implementation to Congress would be required.
  • Establish a Women’s Veterans Business Training Resource Program to compile information on resources available to women veterans for business training, including vocational and technical educations, general business skills such as marketing and accounting and advertising, and accounting. An assistance program for women veterans would be included.
  • Allow a Business Development Center to apply for grants to carry out veterans assistance and services programs. The Centers would create a marketing campaign to promote awareness and education of services available at the Center. The campaign would target veterans, disabled veterans, military units, federal agencies and veteran’s organizations. Technology-assisted online counseling and distance learning technology would be available and coordination with organizations that assist veterans would be incorporated into a one-stop pint of contact for veterans who are entrepreneurs or small business owners.
  • Expand veteran’s business outreach centers by at least two for both FY 2008 and 2009 and by a number considered appropriate by the administrator for each additional fiscal year. The Administrator would produce a study to identify gaps that exist as to informed decisions on funding and allocation of resources in the availability of Veterans Business Outreach Centers.
Main article: U.S. veterans and soldiers legislation
Main article: U.S. small business legislation#SBA Veterans' Programs Act of 2007

Election challenge

Initial results of the November 7 election showed Jennings losing to Republican Vern Buchanan by 370 votes. Following a manual recount, Buchanan was shown to be leading by 369 votes. The Florida Election Canvassing Commission certified this result. Jennings immediately filed a lawsuit asking the court to order a new election, citing statistical and eye witness evidence that voting machines in Sarasota county were malfunctioning. Over 17,000 voters failed to select a candidate in the race, a rate over six times higher than in other areas of the district. Jennings won the counted vote in the county 53%-47%. [2]

In January 2007, Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-Calif.), the new chair of the House Committee on House Administration, dispatched a letter to the Florida First District Court of Appeals in regards to the Jennings matter. Millender-McDonald warned that "if the courts did not adequately investigate the case then Congress would be forced to get involved." One of the actions she called for was granting Jennings access to the "hardware and software (including the source code) needed to test the contestant's central claim: voting machine malfunction." [3]

In February 2007, Jennings filed a brief asking for outside expert access to Sarasota County voting machines’ hardware, software and source code. The brief stated that, "parties on both sides agree that an abnormally high undercount skewed the results and that statistics can never determine if a machine malfunction contributed to the undervote." [4]

On March 16, 2007, House Administration Committee Ranking Member Vernon Ehlers shot down a suggestion that the committee examine the contestations. Ehlers cited the standard of allowing states to complete their reviews before the committee takes up a case as the reason for dismissing the suggestion.[5]

On May 2, 2007, the House Administration Committee created a special task force to investigate the massive 18,000 ballot undervote issue in Florida's 13th district.[6]

Main article: House Committee on House Administration#Florida's 13th District


Buchanan was born on May 8, 1951. He grew up in Michigan, the son of a factory foreman in a family of six children.[7] When he graduated from high school in 1969, he joined the Michigan Air National Guard, serving there for six years. Buchanan got a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Cleary University, in Michigan, and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Detroit.

After graduating with a BA, Buchanan went to work for Burroughs, a Detroit-based computer company. Next, in 1975, he became the Michigan distributor for a SMI, a firm that specialized in sales and marketing training materials.

In May 1976, Buchanan convinced the owner of a Michigan printing company that he could help the business grow. The two founded American Speedy Printing, which grew through franchising to more than 730 stores in 44 states. In 1989, a subsidiary of Merrill Lynch made Buchanan a $15.4 million loan, guaranteed by his ownership in the company. In 1992, the company filed for bankruptcy, three days after Buchanan resigned; at the time, he owned all the company's stock.[8]

Buchanan and American Speedy were defendants in a string of lawsuits during the late 1980s and early 1990s by franchisees and master franchisees, who said they were not making the money that Buchanan had said they could expect. After the bankruptcy, he was accused by a creditors committee of taking excessive compensation and actions that resulted in overstated earnings for American Speedy. In a 1995 deposition, he said that he had no personal obligation to repay the loan from Merrill Lynch; a dispute with the Internal Revenue Service over taxes on the money Buchanan received from Merrill Lynch stretched through the 1990s.

In 1992, Buchanan bought a Honda and Acura dealership in Ocala, Florida. In late 1999, he bought two more dealerships. He continued to acquire dealerships after that, but in 2006 he sold five dealerships, plus his interest a clothing store and a spa, to concentrate on his House campaign.

Buchanan is currently worth more than $50 million. When he filed financial disclosure forms in the fall of 2005 as part of his bid for a seat in Congress, he had interests in more than 50 companies, including 25 auto dealerships, a charter jet business, offshore reinsurance companies and property in Florida and Michigan. His dealership group had $756 million in sales in 2005.

Buchanan owns two reinsurance companies -- Jamat Reinsurance Co. and Buchanan Reinsurance Co., in Turks and Caicos, and part of the Bermuda reinsurance company Greater Atlantic Insurance Co. The three companies offer extended warranty policies to car buyers. Buchanan invests some of the proceeds from his reinsurance companies in real estate developments in the Bahamas.[9]

In 1999, Buchanan was approached to help to finance a very large project -- the Ritz-Carlton condo-hotel development in Sarasota, Florida. But Buchanan was cut out of the Ritz deal, because the developers, Robert Buford and Kevin Daves, said he lied about his financial worth. Buchanan sued, and the parties settled in 2001.[10]

Buchanan served as state finance chair for Sen. Mel Martinez's (R-Fla.) successful 2004 campaign. He was also co-chair of the Republican National Finance Committee.

Buchanan served chairman of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce and as chairman of the board of the Florida state chamber of commerce. He was also a member of the board and the executive committee of the United States Chamber of Commerce.[11]

2006 congressional elections

Buchanan won his seat with a 346 vote victory over Democrat Christine Jennings. Post-election analysis showed that 18,000 people in a district that favored Republicans did not cast votes for the seat, despite voting in other statewide elections. There were also reports of malfunctions with electronic voting machines. Following a recount that certified Buchanan the winner, Jennings sued, demanding a new election.[12]

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. <crpcontribdata>cid=N00027626&cycle=2006</crpcontribdata>

Links to more campaign contribution information for Vern Buchanan
from the Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Fundraising profile: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2006 election cycle Career totals

Committees and Affiliations

More Background Data


Washington DC:
1516 Longworth HOB
Washington DC 20515
ph: (202) 225-5015
fx: (202) 226-0828
Web Email

Sarasota District Office:
235 N. Orange Avenue
Suite 201
Sarasota, FL 34236
ph: (941) 951-6643
fx: (941) 951-2972

Bradenton District Office:
1001 Third Avenue West
Suite 380
Bradenton, FL 34205
ph: (941) 747-9081
fx: (941) 748-1564

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. Robert McElroy, "Managing America: Small Business," TheWeekInCongress, June 22, 2007.
  2. Bill Kaczor, "Jennings challenges 369-vote loss in congressional race," Associated Press (via Bradenton Herald), November 20, 2006.
  3. Paul Kiel, "FL-13: Dem Sends Shot across The Bow,", January 8, 2007.
  4. Aaron Blake, "Jennings files brief," Hill News, February 21, 2007.
  5. Aaron Blake, "Ehlers rebuffs Democrats on Fla.-13," The Hill, March 16, 2007.
  6. Patrick O'Connor, "House to probe Fla. 13 results", Politico, May 2, 2007.
  7. Lauren Mayk. "Buchanan: Big deals led to big riches," Herald Tribute. October 30, 2006.
  8. Lauren Mayk. "Buchanan: Big deals led to big riches," Herald Tribute. October 30, 2006.
  9. Lauren Mayk. "Buchanan: Big deals led to big riches," Herald Tribute. October 30, 2006.
  10. Lauren Mayk. "Buchanan: Big deals led to big riches," Herald Tribute. October 30, 2006.
  11. "Representative Vern Buchanan," Project Vote Smart.
  12. Byron York. "The Loser Who Won’t Concede," National Review. January 4, 2007.

External resources

Local blogs and discussion sites

External articles

Corresponding article on Wikipedia and Cause Caller. (If Cause Caller link does not work, pick from its list of senators and representatives.)

Current Office: U.S. House of Representatives
111th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

110th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

Committees: House Committee on Small Business, House Committee on Small Business/Subcommittee on Regulations Healthcare and Trade, House Committee on Small Business/Subcommittee on Finance and Tax, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure/Subcommittee on Aviation, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure/Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs
Congressional Career
First Elected to Current Office:
November 7, 2006
First Took Current Office:
January 4, 2007
Next Election:
November 2, 2010
Term Ends:
Freshman Member?
Previous Political Work?
None or not available
Other Party Membership:
District Offices:
1. 235 N. Orange Avenue, Suite 201, Sarasota, FL 34236
Phone: (941) 951-6643 / Fax: (941) 951-2972
2. 1001 Third Avenue West, Suite 380, Bradenton, FL 34205
Phone: (941) 747-9081 / Fax: (941) 748-1564

Campaign Contact:

Webform Email: / Email:

Campaign Offices:

Phone: / Fax:

Zip Code Affiliations:

Date of Birth: May 8, 1951