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Representative Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) to Co-Chair Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: GEORGIA ECONOMOU
January 8, 2007—No. 1 (202) 785-8430

Representative Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) to Co-Chair Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues

Washington, DC—AHI congratulates Representative Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) on being appointed to the new Republican Co-Chair of the Congressional Hellenic Caucus. The announcement was made by Representative Carolyn B. Maloney on December 12, 2006.

“We congratulate Representative Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) on being named the Co-Chair of the Hellenic Caucus and we look forward to working with him and Representative Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) in the 110th Congress on issues regarding U.S. relations with Greece and Cyprus,” said AHI Executive Director, Nick Larigakis.

Below please find the press release that announces Representative Gus Bilirakis to help lead the Hellenic Caucus in the 110th Congress.

For Immediate Release 
December 12, 2006 
Contact: Afshin Mohamadi 
202-225-7944

Rep. Maloney Announces New Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues

Rep.-Elect Gus Bilirakis to help lead Caucus in the 110th Congress

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-14), a co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues, announced that Representative-Elect Gus Bilirakis (FL-9) would serve as the new Republican co-chair of the Caucus beginning in the 110th Congress. Bilirakis succeeds his father, Representative Michael Bilirakis, who represented the district for twenty-four years and co-founded the Hellenic Caucus with Representative Maloney in 1996.

“Mike Bilirakis has been a good friend and a tireless advocate for the Greek-American community through his work with the Caucus,” Maloney said. “Although I will dearly miss him, I am thrilled that his son has agreed to take his place as co-chair of the Caucus. I look forward to working with him on the many issues that are important to Greek-Americans in the next Congress.

“As a Greek-American, Hellenic issues are very near and dear to my heart,” said Bilirakis. “I look forward to serving as co-chair of the Hellenic Caucus and I am honored to have the opportunity to work with Rep. Maloney to continue its important work.”

BACKGROUND:
The Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues, founded by Congresswoman Maloney and Congressman Michael Bilirakis in 1996, includes 142 Members of Congress. The purpose of this bipartisan caucus is to foster and improve relations between the United States and Greece. The Caucus serves to bring a renewed Congressional focus on key diplomatic, military, and human rights issues in a critical part of the world. Some of the topics on which the Caucus focuses include U.S. aid to Greece and Cyprus, the conflict on Cyprus, U.S. relations with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and recent developments in the Aegean.

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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For additional information, please contact Georgia Economou at (202) 785-8430 or georgia@ahiworld.org. For general information regarding the activities of AHI, please view our Web site at http://www.ahiworld.org.