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Who are Florida’s 3rd Congressional District Republican candidates?

  • Updated
  • 14 min to read
Republican congressional candidates Alachua County 2020

(Bottom row from left to right) David Theus, Ryan Chamberlin, Judson Sapp.

(Middle row from left to right) Joe Millado, James St. George, Amy Pope Wells, Gavin Rollins. 

(Top row from left to right) Bill Engelbrecht, Kat Cammack, Todd Chase. 

Kat Cammack

Kat cammack.jpg

Age: 32

Who is Cammack?

  • Former campaign manager and deputy chief of staff for Rep. Ted Yoho
  • Born in Colorado
  • Third generation commercial sandblaster
  • Co-founder with her husband, Matt Harrison, of The Grit Foundation, a nonprofit organization designed to support local first responders
  • Master’s in strategic studies and national defense from the U.S. Naval War College

FEC Campaign Finances as of July 29

Monetary contributions: $492,374.96

Total expenditures: $394,327.98

Why is Cammack running for office?

Cammack said she is running for Congress after losing her family’s cattle ranch to an Obama-era loan remodification program.

Motivated by her recent experience, Cammack said, she joined Ted Yoho’s campaign team and later became his deputy chief of staff.

“We have been working for the last eight years on projects across the district to make our communities stronger, safer, recession-proof,” Cammack said. ”But also on the federal level, making government more accountable for the people making our country safer”

When Rep. Yoho announced his retirement in December last year, Cammack said she made the decision to continue his same work while also getting government spending under control.

Cammack said she believes that as a conservative millennial woman, she has a unique opportunity to bring a conservative movement into the 21st century.

“I would like to enhance the diversity of our party and show that the next generation is ready and willing to lead on issues that have been plaguing our country for the last 30 to 40 years,” she added.

What are the main issues Cammack cares about?

“I'm focused on an America-first agenda, which is all about going after the problems and solving the problems that have plagued us for so long,” Cammack said.

Government spending

Cammack said that currently, more than 60 percent of the U.S. national spending is mandatory, which means that the budget is not reviewed annually.

“No one in Congress touches it because it is politically toxic,” she added.

In 2019, the government spent $4.45 trillion total. $2.7 trillion, or 60.67 percent of it, was on mandatory spending, which are portions of the federal budget that are not dependent on annual reviews, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

The candidate said that having a plan to control government spending is needed so that programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, all of which fall under mandatory national spending, are in fact available for people who are currently on them or need to be on them.

“That is the big elephant in the room that no one has wanted to address,” Cammack said. “If we do not address mandatory spending, it is going to consume our entire federal budget, and the government as we know it will cease to be able to operate and function.”

Immigration

“I believe that immigration has been broken for 30 years, and we need to once and for all solve that problem,” Cammack said.

Cammack said she believes written laws need to be enforced and that a wall should be built on the southern border. But along with the wall, the broken immigration system needs to be fixed, Cammack said.

Cammack said the majority of immigrants in the U.S. illegally overstay their visa, which means they stay in the country longer than their visa allows.

According to the Center for Migration Studies of New York report, in 2016, 62 percent of the estimated 515,000 arrivals in the U.S. overstayed their visa.

“We have no plan in place on how we can get folks right with the law, not citizenship, but just right with the law,” Cammack said.

Cammack said she has worked for several years with Rep. Yoho on a guest workers bill. The bill would work to fix agriculture, construction and the hospitality industries, which are in a difficult situation when it comes to the immigration system, she said. She did not specify how the bill would fix the industries and why they are in a difficult situation.

Cammack added that an implementation of E-verify is an important component to the discussion. E-verify is a system used for employers to confirm the eligibility of their employees to work in the U.S.

Cammack said she is aware of the country’s need for a high-tech labor force. Cammack also said that the lottery system in which high-tech workers acquire their visas is out of date.

“We just need to update our policies to protect the employee and the employer,” she added.

Diversity of thought

Cammack said that people live in an era where cancel culture is rampant, and that the liberal left, in particular, feels the need to shut conservative voices down.

“I think in 2020 and beyond, we need to be focused on diversity of thought and really supporting an individual's right to their opinion, whether you agree with them or not,” Cammack said.

The Constitution is designed to protect individuals’ voices, Cammack said. The candidate said she wants to protect conversative voices in Congress, particularly voices in higher education, where she believes their ideas are routinely shut down, she added.

Campaign website: https://www.katforcongress.com/home

Todd Chase

todd chase.jpg

Age: 53

Who is Chase?

  • Born in Cleveland, Ohio, and raised in Savannah, Georgia, by a single mother
  • Former Gainesville city commissioner for six years
  • 26 years of service to the Navy
  • Master’s in business administration from Harvard

FEC Campaign Finances as of July 29

Monetary contributions: $355,484.24

Total expenditures: $244,786.19

Why is Chase running for office?

“I’m running because I think it's important that we have strong, experienced and principal leaders in Washington to help lead this country, probably at a time, more so, than we've ever needed it,” Chase said.

Chase also said he is running for Congress because he is afraid society is running out of people like his mother, who taught him and his brother about faith, love, discipline, confidence and work ethic.

Chase served as a Gainesville city commissioner for two terms and said people who saw him in office know that he is not afraid to fight for the things he believes in.

The candidate said it is evident that the role of the U.S. is important in the world, and that it should stay that way, with a strong national defense, military and national security.

“I've been all over the world and I've seen a lot of places,” Chase said. “America is the greatest country on earth. I believe it.”

What are the main issues Chase cares about?

Health care

“I think that we have a health care system now that encourages people to have to go to the doctor when they can afford it, not when they need it.”

Chase said he thinks the health care system is broken. He wants to work on fixing it because he has three children and knows health care has become very expensive for the average citizen, he said.

With regards to health care, Chase said it is necessary to look for free market systems solutions, which means the government would not intervene. He also said he would encourage insurance companies to remain competitive. He did not specify any solutions. However, he said insurance companies have to make sure they are taking care of the people they serve.

Veterans’ health care is another issue Chase cares about. He said care should be more available for the veterans in the U.S.

“I'll fight to continue to improve the accessibility and the care within the VA system and also be open to pursuing private options and giving choices to veterans and their families going forward,” Chase said.

Ensuring U.S. national defense

“I think that we've made a fundamental promise to the men and women who have served this country that we will take care of them,” Chase said. “We need to do that through the full life cycle from the time they join the military, through their service and quite frankly, to the end of their lives.”

Chase said it is important to make the military a place where people would want to go and serve. He did not specify how, but said that if the country works to protect veterans, young people will be encouraged to join.

“We need to continue to make military spending a priority, but also spend smartly on it and make sure that we are investing in the kind of systems and equipment and weapons that we're going to need in the wars of the future,” Chase said.

Chase said that the most important thing at the end of the day, from a military standpoint, is readiness.

“To make sure that we have the equipment and the training necessary to be prepared when needed,” he said. “And unless you've been in it, it's hard to understand sometimes, but you have to have that training to rely on when the time calls for it.”

Getting people back to work

Chase said that getting people back to work safely and getting the economy “running again” is critically important to him.

“I plan on, as a member of Congress, not just putting lip service to saying, ‘Let's bring critical supply chain and manufacturing jobs back to America.’ We're gonna have to take steps to do that,” Chase said.

Chase mentioned expanding national service programs, such as technical education. Technical education refers to educational programs that pave the way toward specialized jobs or career fields, including agriculture, business, technology and industrial design, among others.

Chase also said that there's a skilled workforce in North Central Florida. He also said there are great universities, community colleges and the necessary infrastructure to help bring back important jobs to the United States. He did not specify what jobs.

Campaign website: https://chaseforflorida.com/meet-republican-todd-chase/

Gavin Rollins

gavin rollins.jpg

Age: 34

Who is Rollins?

  • Born in Penang, Malaysia
  • Moved to Florida when two years old
  • American history teacher
  • 13 years of military service
  • Captain in the Florida National Guard
  • Current Clay County Commissioner
  • Bachelor’s in agriculture from UF and Master’s in education leadership from the University of West Florida

FEC Campaign Finances as of July 29

Monetary contributions: $179,907.20

Total expenditures: $131,998.74

Why is Rollins running for office?

Rollins said he decided to run for Congress because he believes that the U.S. needs energetic, engaged leadership that is conservative but also is willing to go to Washington D.C. and fight for fresh new ideas to face crises such as attacks on freedoms of religion and expression.

What are the main issues Rollins cares about?

Keeping the country safe

“If we're not safe, nothing else matters,” Rollins said. “We need a strong defense against communist China and some of the things they're wanting to do.”

Rollins also said the country needs to have a strong cybersecurity plan to protect the internet and networks.

Having a simplified government

“I'd like to see the government simplified and push back to the States as much as possible,” Rollins said.

The candidate said that the federal government has a role to play, but said states, local governments and citizens are better equipped to make decisions for what's best for their lives.

Supporting agriculture workers and farmers

Rollins said that in Congress he will be a voice for U.S. agriculture workers, farmers and ranchers because food security also concerns national security.

“We have to have an abundant and safe food supply to maintain our strength as a nation,” Rollins said.

Campaign website: https://gavinrollins.com/

Bill Engelbrecht

Bill E.jpg

Age: 54

Who is Engelbrecht?

  • Born in Meridian, Mississippi, and raised in Jacksonville
  • Owner and president of a Florida First Care, a Medicare home health agency
  • Worked in the health care field for 32 years

FEC Campaign Finances as of June 30

Monetary contributions: $68,530

Total expenditures: $31,742.28

Why is Engelbrecht running for office?

Engelbrecht said he decided to run because he has been in the health care field for 32 years and has been the president of Florida First Care for 26 years He said he knows from firsthand experience that health care reform is needed.

“I have a lot of great ideas that I think will help Americans across the United States, as well as our constituents here,” Engelbrecht said.

He is also running because he has a family full of veterans whom he wishes to help get better access to health care, Engelbrecht added.

“You need somebody like myself, who's got the experience in health care, but also who can come in with a fresh idea, fresh minds, to think outside the box,” Engelbrecht said.

What are the main issues Engelbrecht cares about?

Lowering prescription drug prices

“When you have seniors who are rationalizing their prescription drugs at the end of the month, and you're trying to decide between that and eating, you know that's a problem,” Engelbrecht said.

Engelbrecht said that no one should have to decide between their health and food security. He said that lowering prescription drug prices is a solution, but that there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done.

He mentioned that President Donald Trump recently signed four executive orders in regards to lowering drug prices, but that as the president said, “This is just the beginning of it,” Engelbrecht said.

Engelbrecht suggests that insurance companies incorporate a ‘health savings account” so that the leftover money not used annually could be used in the future in the case of a catastrophic event, such as paying for cancer treatment, he said.

Campaign website: https://www.billforcongress.us/

Joe Dallas Millado

Joe millado.jpg

Age: 37

Who is Millado?

  • Born in Manila, Philippines, and raised in Jacksonville, Florida
  • Former legislative aide for Florida’s 6th District Rep. Cliff Stearns from 2007 to 2012
  • Small business owner
  • Bachelor’s in criminology at FSU

FEC Campaign Finances as of June 30

Monetary contributions: $15,967.25

Total expenditures: $19,808.29

Why is Millado running for office?

Millado said he is running to prove that you don’t need a million dollars to run for Congress.

“If you want to run you should run,” Millado said. “You should run because this is your country, your era, your futures.”

Millado said it doesn’t matter if people are Republican, Democrat, or Independent. His campaign is designed to inspire the next era of generational leaders to rise up, he added.

Millado said he has zero experience in politics. Instead, he said he has a lot of practice working on policy from his experience working as a legislative aide at Capitol Hill.

“You've had politics. I want to bring policy,” Millado said.

Millado said that once the solution of a problem is identified, he could write a legislation in 48 hours without lobbyists or any special interest.

“I'm running to change the world,” Millado said.

What are the main issues Millado cares about?

Veteran’s Affairs

Millado said that it is not true that the VA agency needs more money.

Millado said that instead of informing themselves, people are voting on things they do not know much about.

The federal government should provide veterans with aid for their cost of living, he said.

Millado also mentioned the need to address veterans’ mental health due to their suicide rate. In 2017, an average of 16.8 veterans died by suicide per day, according to the National Veteran Suicide Prevention annual report.

“We can't ask them to go serve our nation downrange on the battlefield and not support them on the home range,” Millado said.

National security

“I know the argument of if you could spend $1 for a bullet, you could spend $1 on the book. I get that,” Millado said. “But it shouldn't be that.”

Millado said that the military discussion is not just about bolts, bandages and tanks. He said it is important to be prepared in case the country is threatened to be taken over by a foreign nation.

Campaign website: https://millado4congress.com/

The following candidates could not be reached for comment in time for publication. The information provided was gathered from each candidate’s campaign sites.

James St. George

james st george.jpg

Age: 63

Who is St. George?

  • Physician from Harvard Medical School
  • Husband and father of three children
  • Eagle Scout

FEC Campaign Finances as of July 29

Monetary contributions: $921,794.97

Total expenditures: $643,232.64

What are the main issues St. George cares about?

Health care

“We need to repeal ObamaCare!” St. George’s campaign website reads.

St. George says that as a physician, he witnesses the disaster that President Obama’s Affordable Care Act is for the U.S. He says it has to be replaced with a private, free-market system and not government-run, socialized medicine.

National Security and Immigration

“We need to finish building the wall!” St. George’s campaign website reads.

St. George says he is ready to work and support President Donald Trump’s military goals abroad to ensure the country’s safety and security.

Economy

“Thanks to President Trump, our economy is roaring back! But we now need to get spending under control, balance the budget, and start reducing our national debt!” the campaign website reads.

St. George adds that Congress also needs to prioritize helping small businesses because he understands from his own experience how hard excessive government regulations are for many employers in the area.

Campaign website: https://www.votestgeorge.com/

Judson Sapp

Judson Sapp.jpg

Age: 43

Who is Sapp?

  • Raised in Clay County, Florida
  • Lives in Green Cove Springs, Florida
  • Married with two children
  • CEO of W. J. Sapp Railroad Contractor
  • Ran for the same seat in 2018
  • Bachelor’s in philosophy from Florida State University

FEC Campaign Finances as of July 29

Monetary contributions: $770,019.01

Total expenditures: $574,879.74

What are the main issues Sapp cares about?

Quality education

Sapp says students should have more options available to educate their children.

“We should reduce our federal Department of Education and send more funding back to states in the form of block grants to allow state governments to provide more options to better educate children,” Sapp’s campaign website says. “No state is the same and no child is the same.”

Health care reform

“America’s health care system is deteriorating, insurance rates are on the rise, and accessibility to services is becoming more difficult,” the website says.

Sapp says that Congress should allow for a more competitive market, abolish employer mandates, eliminate red tape, allow more customized health care plans and create more transparency in the health care market.

Those things can be accomplished by requiring price disclosures so that health care consumers may compare prices ultimately utilizing the free market to lower costs, Sapp says.

Border security and immigration

Sapp says that the U.S. is a country of immigration and that diversity is celebrated. However, people who enter the country illegally should be immediately deported, he says.

“Congress must provide funding to construct a wall spanning the entirety of our southern border and eliminate any federal funding for sanctuary cities or states,” Sapp’s website says.

Campaign website: https://judsonsapp.com/

Amy Pope Wells

amy pope wells.jpg

Age: 49

Who is Wells?

  • Raised outside of Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Lives in Green Cove Springs, FL
  • Married with four children
  • Board member of the Clay County Development Authority in 2017 and co-chair of the Women's Coalition in support of Gov. Ron DeSantis

FEC Campaign Finances as of July 29

Monetary contributions: $217,085.90

Total expenditures: $87,968.54

What are the main issues Wells Cares about?

Guns

“The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution must be protected against the all out assault and gradual erosion of public pressure. I will not support any legislation that infringes on or limits our right to bear arms. I will stand up against any efforts to make it harder to buy firearms and ammunition,” Wells’ website says.

Immigration

“I support the completion of the wall along our Southern Border. This will stem the tide of illegal immigration, drug smuggling and human trafficking that has ravaged our border states and cost our country billions of dollars,” Wells’ website says.

Coronavirus

“I admire the federal government’s response to this unprecedented crisis. Although not perfect, the President’s early decision to close immigration from China will be our saving grace. There will be hard times and I resolve to be involved in our community in the same way that I always have, helping people and businesses navigate our current reality,” Wells’ website says.

Campaign website: https://amypopewells.com/

Ryan Chamberlin

ryan chamb.jpg

Age: 45

Who is Chamberlin?

  • Author of “Now You Know,” which he wrote to help entrepreneurs.
  • Speaker at the Marion County TEDx Ocala event.
  • Business Consultant based in Marion County
  • Plays the piano at Souls Harbor First Pentecostal Church, located in Belleview, Florida

FEC Campaign Finances as of July 29

Monetary contributions: $166,083.40

Total expenditures: $124,579.42

What are the issues Chamberlin cares about?

National Security

“Our allies must trust us and our enemies fear us. I will advocate for funding the world’s strongest, most well-equipped military with an updated mission of guarding our borders,” Chamberlin wrote on his website.

Taxes

“I’ll push for dramatic spending reform with a focus on phasing out federal agencies that overstep the mission of our states. I endorse the national sales tax and will work to replace the federal income tax with this type of consumption tax,” Chamberlin wrote on his website.

Constitutional rights

“Our Constitution has been trampled. We must restore a right to life for everyone, including the unborn. We must recognize the sanctity of our religious freedom, and we must defend the constant attacks on our Second Amendment,” Chamberlin wrote on his website.

Campaign website: https://ryanchamberlin.com/

David Theus

david theus.jpg

Age: 56

Who is Theus?

  • Lives in Fleming Island, Florida
  • First time running for an elected office
  • Business Consultant
  • PromoteClay founder, a networking platform for businesses

FEC Campaign Finances as of July 29

Monetary contributions: $16,322.11

Total expenditures: $16,043.43

What are the main issues Theus cares about?

Quality education

“When elected, I will sponsor legislation to enact a national history curriculum taught at all grade levels. The curriculum will include America’s founding Fathers, the Constitution and Bill of Rights, the achievements of notable Americans, and how we recognized and overcame our shortcomings and failings,” Theus wrote in a Facebook post.

Protecting monuments

“I stand for protecting our Monuments of Remembrance. Teaching our youth Historical Context is critical to the peace and prosperity of our nation,” Theus wrote in a Facebook post.

Veterans’ affairs and national security

“I view our National Security as a 3-legged stool; Military Strength, Energy Independence and safe, affordable, and readily available food supply,” Theus wrote in a Facebook post

Theus said he will work to reform the Veteran Affairs hospitals to make the resources more portable.

“Our Veterans should be able to choose their doctors and hospitals, just as our seniors can under Medicare,” Theus wrote in a Facebook post.

Campaign website:

Theus does not have a campaign website. However, information of his campaign can be found here.

Contact Aurora at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @AuroraCeciliaM.

Contributing Writer

Aurora is a journalism sophomore at UF and a university news assistant at The Alligator this Fall.