Just days after U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Gainesville, announced he would not seek re-election in 2020, upholding his vow to step down after four terms in Congress, his former deputy chief of staff, Kat Cammack, launched her campaign for Florida’s 3rd Congressional District seat.
Both decisions came after months of speculation about Yoho’s plans and talk of a potential re-election campaign after he filed as a candidate in 2020 with the Federal Election Commission.
Cammack is the founder and owner of Grit Strategies, a media, marketing, and consulting firm. She had served as deputy chief of staff for Yoho since 2013 and sits on the board of the Alachua County NRA Foundation. Cammack also co-founded with her husband, Matthew Harrison, the Grit Foundation, a non-profit for local first responders.
“I am running for Congress to continue the hard work of protecting our Constitutional rights, limiting the size and power of the federal government, facilitating job growth, securing our borders and standing up for our farmers,” Cammack wrote in the announcement.
Along with her candidacy, Cammack released 120 names of community leaders who will make up part of her steering committee and said she has more than $100,000 pledged in contributions.
Before Yoho confirmed he would not run again, his campaign raised $73,161 in 2019, according to FEC records. Cammack has not yet filed as a candidate with the FEC.
A staunch ally of President Donald Trump, Yoho was a popular candidate among Republican voters, many who said they would’ve been happy to see the congressman run again. He ultimately upheld his promise.
“I ran on pledge to serve four terms — eight years and come home,” Yoho wrote in his announcement. “Many told me I was naïve and they were probably right. I was told the district has changed three times and so the pledge isn’t binding and I could rationalize that. However, I truly believe a person’s word is their bond and should live up to their word.”
The University of Florida graduate and longtime Gainesville resident announced he would not seek re-election the same day that articles of impeachment against Trump were presented by Democratic House leaders.
Yoho continues to support the president and oppose impeachment.
Florida’s 3rd Congressional District includes Alachua, Bradford, Marion, Union, Putnam and Clay counties and is largely made up of Republican voters. Yoho won in 2016 earning 57.6% of the vote.
Four other Republicans have already filed for the seat, including Judson Sapp, Joseph Millado, Matthew Raines and Amy Pope-Wells.
Democrats Phil Dodds and Tom Wells are also running. Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn plans to announce his candidacy in early January.