NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. -- Though she says her career in elected office is over, Suzanne Kosmas, perhaps the highest ranking Democrat ever from New Smyrna Beach -- first in the Florida Legislature and then Congress -- who could surprise people, if she has one more run in her in 2016, as some have suggested, including this media outlet. In any event, Suzanne Kosmas, is among the 100 entrants in the inaugural Class of 2015 HeadlineSurfer.com Hall of Fame.
Kosmas (born Feb. 25, 1944) is the former U.S. Representative for Florida's 24th congressional district, serving from 2009 until 2011. She previously served in the Florida House of Representatives. The district consists of several portions of the Orlando-Daytona Beach area as well as portions of the Space Coast region.
Kosmas has lived in New Smyrna Beach since 1973. She has owned Prestige Properties of New Smyrna Beach, a real estate company, since 1979. She attended The Pennsylvania State University and George Mason University, later graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Stetson University in 1998.
Kosmas represented the 28th District in the Florida House of Representatives for four consecutive terms, 1996 through 2004, before term-limits kicked in. She was one of the top recruits for the Democrats for Congress in the 2008 cycle. Despite the wide perception that incumbent Tom Feeney had drawn the 24th for himself while still serving as state house speaker.
It included most of Democratic-leaning Volusia County, considered Kosmas' home turf.
In 2008, Kosmas campaigned on issues such as fiscal conservatism, support for veterans, and values like integrity and transparency. Feeney was attacked in independent expenditure ads for his ties to Jack Abramoff, the negative perception of which was exacerbated by Feeney's own.
In the November election, Kosmas won, taking 57 percent of the vote to Feeney's 41 percent — the largest margin of defeat for a Republican incumbent in the 2008 cycle.
Kosmas was defeated for re-election by former State Rep. Sandy Adams on Nov. 2, 2010, with 60 percent of the vote to 40 percent for Kosmas.
Ironically, two years after handing Feeney the largest margin of defeat for a Republican incumbent in the 2008 cycle, Kosmas herself lost by the second-largest margin of any Democratic incumbent in the 2010 cycle.
Kosmas' undoing was Obamacare. She initially voted along with 38 other Democrats against the Affordable Health Care for America Act. But Kosmas switched to a "Yes" vote for the Senate version of the bill.