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2020

John Rutherford backing Judson Sapp in growing field of CD 3 contenders

He’s the second member of the Florida delegation to back Sapp

Another member of the Florida delegation is backing Judson Sapp in the race for Florida’s 3rd Congressional District.

U.S. Rep. John Rutherford announced Friday that the Clay County Republican was his pick to succeed U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, who recently announced he would not seek reelection in 2020.

“President [Donald] Trump needs allies in Congress like Judson Sapp. Judson is a devoted family man, successful businessman, and a solid conservative we can count on to lead from day one. I’m proud to support my friend Judson Sapp for Congress,” Rutherford said in a news release.

Sapp responded, “John Rutherford is a widely known leader in North Florida. John has been elected as Sheriff and Congressman. In both roles he has been beloved by his constituents and respected by those he serves with. I’m blessed to call John my friend.”

The endorsement came a day after Sapp got the nod from U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan and on the same day as the race for the North Central Florida added another candidate, former Yoho staffer Kat Cammack.

In addition to Rutherford and Buchanan, Sapp has also received endorsements from Bradford County Sheriff Gordon Smith, former Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll and Putnam County Sheriff Gator DeLoach.

The GOP primary now features three candidates — Cammack, Sapp and Amy Pope Wells — and it could grow further in the coming weeks with the addition of Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn, who publicly declared his interest in running this week.

Four Democrats are also seeking the job, though CD 3 would be a stretch for the party.

Yoho won reelection in 2018 by 15 points, and voter registration data shows there are 25,000 more Republicans than Democrats living in the district.

The seat covers Alachua, Clay, Putnam, Bradford and Union counties with parts of Marion also included.

Written By

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.

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