Gus Bilirakis

Gus Bilirakis
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 12th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by Dennis Ross
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 9th district
In office
January 3, 2007  January 3, 2013
Preceded by Michael Bilirakis
Succeeded by Alan Grayson
Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 48th district
In office
January 1999  January 2007
Preceded by Sandy Safley
Succeeded by Peter Nehr
Personal details
Born (1963-02-08) February 8, 1963
Gainesville, Florida, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Eva Bilirakis
Children 4
Alma mater St. Petersburg College
University of Florida (BA)
Stetson University (JD)

Gus Michael Bilirakis (born February 8, 1963) is the U.S. Representative for Florida's 12th congressional district, serving since January 2007. He is a member of the Republican Party. The district, numbered as the 9th district from 2007 to 2013, includes much of the northern portion of the Tampa Bay Area. He has also served in the Florida House of Representatives.[1]

Early life, education and career

Bilirakis was born in Gainesville, Florida and grew up in Tarpon Springs, Florida, the son of Evelyn (Miaoulis) and Michael Bilirakis.[2] He calls nearby Palm Harbor home. He is the grandson of Greek immigrants. His grandfather owned a local bakery where Bilirakis worked from a young age. He attended Tampa Bay area public schools and continued to work in his grandfather's bakery while growing up.

Bilirakis graduated from Tarpon Springs High School and St. Petersburg Junior College. He then attended the University of Florida, where he graduated in 1986 with a bachelor's degree in political science. He received his law degree from the Stetson University College of Law in 1989.

Bilirakis has a Tampa Bay area law practice, the Bilirakis Law Group, specializing in probate and estate planning, which he took over from his father, Michael Bilirakis. His father served in Congress from 1983 to 2007, and Gus helped run his campaigns.

Florida legislature


Bilirakis was first elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 1998 when he won the District 48 seat held for 10 years by Representative Sandy Safley, R-Clearwater, who decided not to run again. This district covers most of north Pinellas County, part of Pasco County, and part of Hillsborough County.


During his tenure in Tallahassee (1998–2006), he chaired several prominent panels including Crime Prevention, Public Safety Appropriations, and the Economic Development, Trade, & Banking Committee.

Caucus membership

U.S. House of Representatives


In 2006, Michael Bilirakis announced his retirement after 24 years in Congress, and Gus Bilirakis immediately jumped into the race to succeed his father in what was then the 9th District. He defeated Hillsborough County Commissioner Phyllis Busansky in the general election with 55 percent of the vote to become the district's second representative. He has been reelected three more times with no substantive opposition.

Committee assignments

Gus Bilirakis meets with Diabetes advocate and former Miss America Nicole Johnson

In January 2009, Bilirakis was appointed ranking member [3] on the House Committee on Homeland Security's Subcommittee on Management, Investigations and Oversight. In this role he is his party's top congressional watchdog over the Department of Homeland Security United States Department of Homeland Security.

Party leadership

Bilirakis is a member of the Republican Party's Whip Team and is Chair of the Veterans’ Affairs Task Force for the Republican Policy Committee. Additionally, Bilirakis serves as a Co-Chair of the Congressional Military Veterans Caucus and the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues.


Official 110th Congress photo of Gus Bilirakis

Bilirakis has led efforts to enhance the United States' visa screening capabilities and has played a key role in efforts to strengthen America’s borders; most notably passing legislation to enhance the collection of biometric information from migrants captured at sea who are seeking illegal entry to the United States. He successfully placed legislative initiatives in the 9/11 recommendations bill that was signed into law to increase America's rail and public transportation security.

Bilirakis is also a leading sponsor of legislation to create a nationwide Silver Alert program. He is a signer of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge[4]

In 2010 Bilirakis signed a pledge sponsored by Americans for Prosperity promising to vote against any Global Warming legislation that would raise taxes.[5]

On September 29, 2008, Bilirakis voted against the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.[6]


On April 10, 2014, Bilirakis introduced the Travel Promotion, Enhancement, and Modernization Act of 2014 Act (H.R. 4450; 113th Congress), a bill that would extend the provisions of the Travel Promotion Act of 2009 (Pub.L. 111–145), which established the Corporation for Travel Promotion (also known as Brand USA), through September 30, 2020, and impose new performance and procurement requirements on the corporation.[7][8]


In 2014, Bilirakis had a cameo as a job applicant in the feature film Walt Before Mickey starring Thomas Ian Nicholas, Jon Heder, and Armando Gutierrez.[9]

Personal life

Gus and his wife have four children: Michael, Teddy, Manuel, nor,Nicholas.[10]


United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Michael Bilirakis
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 9th congressional district

Succeeded by
Alan Grayson
Preceded by
Dennis Ross
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 12th congressional district

United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Steve Pearce
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Vern Buchanan
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 12/3/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.