Biography of Congressman Gus M. Bilirakis

Biography of Congressman Gus M. Bilirakis
(prepared by the office of Rep.-elect Gus Bilirakis)

Gus M. Bilirakis, Republican from Palm Harbor, was elected to Congress on
November 7, 2006, to represent Florida’s Ninth Congressional District, which
includes portions of Pasco, Pinellas, and Hillsborough counties. 

Born on February 8, 1963, Gus learned about the importance of public service
early in his life from his father, Michael Bilirakis, who represented the
Ninth District in Congress from 1983 to 2006.  The elder Bilirakis also
instilled in his son pride in his family heritage and civic-mindedness, both
of which Gus proudly exhibits today. 

Early in his career, Gus volunteered on his father’s congressional
campaigns, interned for President Ronald Reagan and the National Republican
Congressional Committee, and worked for former Representative Don Sundquist
(R-TN).  Gus earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Florida
in 1986, and a J.D. from Stetson University in 1989.  Gus then ran the
Bilirakis Law Group in Holiday, Florida, specializing in wills, trusts, and
estate planning.  He also taught government classes at St. Petersburg
College. 

Prior to his election to Congress, Gus was overwhelmingly elected to four
terms as a member of the Florida House of Representatives.  During his
tenure in Tallahassee (1998-2006), he chaired several prominent panels,
including Crime Prevention, Public Safety Appropriations, and the Economic
Development, Trade, and Banking Committee, gaining valuable expertise that
will benefit him in Congress.  He quickly became known as a
consensus-builder who worked across party lines for the common good, as well
as for focusing on constituent service and being accessible to those he
represented, traits he intends to continue in Congress.

Gus also won bipartisan acclaim for being fair and accomplishing his key
priorities.  His leadership resulted in laws to make communities safer,
improve transportation, reform government, recognize the sacrifices of
America’s veterans, and expand the role that community health centers play
in making health care more available to lower-income individuals. 

In Congress, Gus plans to work in a bipartisan manner to make homeowner’s
insurance more affordable, improve education, lower taxes, increase access
to quality health care, protect veterans’ benefits, ensure the long-term
viability of Social Security and Medicare, strengthen homeland security, and
make government smaller and smarter.  

Gus lives in Palm Harbor with his wife, Eva, and sons Michael, Teddy,
Manuel, and Nicholas.

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