Former U.S. Rep. Ric Keller, R-Fla., is looking to make a political comeback, setting his sights on a return to Congress.
Florida Politics reported on Thursday that Keller is running for the seat currently held by U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., who is leaving the House after two terms to run for the Senate.
“I am running for Congress because Washington is dysfunctional, our country is headed in the wrong direction, and we’ve been betrayed by the Republican establishment,” said Keller. “I have been completely outside of government for the entire Obama administration, and there is one thing I know for sure: American is not broken, Washington is broken. To get back on track, we need to do three things: build the wall, pass a balanced budget amendment, and completely destroy ISIS.”
Florida Politics reported Keller had reeled in some prominent supporters including Lake County Sheriff Gary Borders and Lake County Property Appraiser Carey Baker.
First elected to Congress in 2000 over Democrat Linda Chapin, during his eight years in Congress, Keller served on the House Education and the Workforce Committee and the House Judiciary Committee. Keller chaired the Higher Education, Lifelong Learning, and Competitiveness Subcommittee. While he represented a swing district, Keller was considered one of the more conservative members of the Florida delegation and, generally, kept his seat with impressive margins.
But that changed in 2008 when Keller broke his promise to serve only four terms. Keller faced a Republican primary challenger in Todd Long who bashed him for breaking his promise. In November, Keller lost to Democrat Alan Grayson.
Keller joins a crowded primary field which includes state Reps. Fred Costello and David Santiago, businessman G.G. Galloway, former police officer James Jusick, conservative activist Patrick Mooney and Navy veteran and Republican leader Brandon Patty.
After the latest round of congressional redistricting, the district loses the northern part of St. Johns County and contains all of Flagler and Volusia counties, the eastern part of Lake County and the southern part of St. Johns County.