Kat Cammack rolls out waves of endorsements in wide-open CD 3 primary

First responders are the latest bloc to back Cammack.

Republican congressional candidate Kat Cammack is piling on endorsements in the race for Florida’s 3rd Congressional District.

Cammack, a former staffer to exiting U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, had been announcing her endorsements one by one — in April she earned nods from U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, Brooker Mayor Gene Melvin, and We Build the Wall founder Brian Kolfage.

The past month, however, has seen Cammack roll out endorsements in waves.

Last week, the set included Gainesville Professional Firefighters VP Nick Gonzalez, Clay County Sheriff’s Office Chief of Detectives Pat Golemme, Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum, Fire Rescue Professionals of Alachua County President Robert Sullivan, Putnam County Deputy Sheriff Brian Keith and former Florida State Prison assistant warden Donnie Jackson.

Dubbed the “First Responders Coalition” by the campaign, each member lauded Cammack’s for her understanding of their duties as well as her willingness to listen to their needs.

“I am honored to have this coalition of first responders standing behind my campaign. They put the lives of the communities they serve before their own every day, and they have my deepest respect for the work they do,” Cammack said in a news release.

“As the wife of a fire fighter, through my time as Congressman Ted Yoho’s deputy chief of staff, and as the co-founder and President of the GRIT Foundation, I have long been a staunch supporter of the first responder community. However, I can assure you that my work fighting on their behalf has only just begun.

“Now more than ever, first responders need an advocate on Capitol Hill. We cannot and will not let these hard working conservative hometown heroes go unheard. I thank them for their council and look forward to listening to them on the best ways our leaders can support their efforts to save lives.”

The first responder endorsements were the latest of five bulk announcements released by the campaign thus far, following the America First CoalitionYoung Americans for Kat CoalitionSecond Amendment Coalition, and Faith and Pro-life Coalition.

Campaign consultant Derek Dufresne of RightVoter said the bundles of endorsements, combined with her appeal among well-known conservatives, show Cammack appeals to the gamut of Republican primary voters.

“Kat has been rolling out new issue-based coalitions of top activists every week and has been announcing a steady stream of local elected officials and leaders almost daily. However, these aren’t just names on a press release. They are hardworking grassroots individuals who are already putting in the hours necessary to ensure Kat Cammack is their next congresswoman,” he said.

“Despite the difficulties that the coronavirus pandemic has posed to campaigns across the country, Kat Cammack’s grassroots team has adjusted and they have already made over 72,000 voter contact phone calls, installed hundreds of yard signs, and are working every day towards victory. Truthfully, it’s impressive — and it’s a force that will be very difficult to combat as the campaigns march toward the primary.”

Cammack is one of 10 candidates running for the North Central Florida seat, which has been held by Yoho since 2013.

Also seeking the Republican nomination are Ryan ChamberlinTodd ChaseBill EngelbrechtJoe MilladoGavin RollinsJames St. GeorgeJudson SappDavid Theus and Amy Pope Wells.

Cammack is close to the top in fundraising, with $207,000 raised and $166,000 on hand at the end of the first quarter. Sapp and St. George have the most on hand — they have $326,000 and $310,000 on hand, respectively — though both have built their advantage through candidate loans.

Dufrense said her fundraising numbers, just as with the endorsements, show she’s the candidate with momentum among the district’s voters.

“Fundraising certainly matters in a race like this, which why it is important to remember that Kat Cammack, who has raked in well over $200K thus far in her campaign, has raised more money from donors in the district than anyone else in this race. However, grassroots matters too, and no other candidate is even close to Kat Cammack when looking at that barometer of a successful campaign.”

CD 3 covers Alachua, Bradford, Clay, Putnam and Union counties as well as part of Marion. It is a safe Republican seat.

Drew Wilson

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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