Meet the candidates for Florida’s 3rd congressional district

Democratic nominee Danielle Hawk is challenging Republican incumbent US Rep. Kat Cammack for Florida’s 3rd congressional district. Here’s what voters need to know about them as they prepare for Election Day on November 8th.

WUFT spoke to Danielle Hawk about her campaign, but despite multiple attempts by email and phone, was unable to hear from Cammack or her campaign due to scheduling conflicts. Cammack’s campaign did not respond to a request to alternatively answer questions via email.

backgrounds

Cammack is the current representative of Florida’s 3rd congressional district, inaugurated in 2020. Prior to her election, she served as deputy chief of staff to her predecessor, Rep. Ted Yoho, from 2013 to 2019.

As WUFT previously reported, Yoho said in a 2020 statement that Cammack was “demoted” as his chief of staff in 2013 and “transferred” from Washington to a Florida district office for “undisclosed reasons.” The statement was later deleted from Yoho’s Facebook account for the campaign.

She is originally from Colorado, where she grew up on a cattle ranch. Cammack said her family lost the ranch as a result of the Obama administration’s Home Affordable Modification Program in 2011, leading to her involvement in politics and opposition to government hyperbole, which remains one of her primary platforms.

Cammack is the second youngest woman in Congress and serves on the Homeland Security and Agriculture Committees. She serves as the senior member of the Homeland Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Recovery, which includes hurricane response.

The incumbent, along with Florida’s other 15 Republican congressmen, recently came under fire for voting against a bill to increase federal aid in the wake of Hurricane Ian. The aid bill was part of a larger spending bill that included funding for the war in Ukraine, in which many Republicans criticize the level of U.S. involvement.

According to congress.gov, Cammack sponsored a collection of 14 bills, resolutions and amendments during his tenure, none of which passed the House.

Some of these include a bill to give the Secretary of Homeland Security powers to stem migration waves, a bill to amend the Natural Gas Act to speed up the licensing of small-scale exports of natural gas, and a bill to amend Chapter 8 of Title 5 of the U.S. Act of the United States Code providing that major rules of the executive branch shall have no force or effect unless a joint resolution with the consent of Congress is enacted.

Cammack’s recent votes include voting to pass the 9/11 Family Fairness Act and voting against the Affordable Insulin Now Act.

Cammack is an avid supporter of former President Donald Trump and, in her first week in the House of Representatives, opposed Congress certifying votes for the 2020 presidential election on Jan. 6 and voted against creating an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack the Capitol.

Danielle Hawk is a community activist originally from Pennsylvania. Hawk has spent her life volunteering with organizations working for various social causes, particularly those related to child poverty and educational opportunities, in Florida, Pennsylvania and Central America.

While Hawk appreciates the volunteerism she provides, she said volunteering is only a temporary and inadequate solution to larger and ongoing national problems that need to be addressed by the nation’s leadership.

“All of these things were just a band-aid to the systemic issues that we had and that we have in our country. And of course, they will not be repaired. And I’m tired of being represented by career politicians who don’t have the political will to get these things done because they don’t concern them,” Hawk said. “And for all of these things that I was doing in my community, I saw the consequences and decided I wanted to fix it.”

Hawk was very active in organizing protests in Gainesville, including the North-Central Florida March for Reproductive Freedom and Justice after the coup Roe v. calf by the Supreme Court. Hawk said restoring a woman’s right to abortion is her top priority should she be elected.

Hawk has no government experience compared to Cammack’s decades of experience in Washington. Hawk said this is one of her strengths.

“I haven’t spent the last decade building myself up for office. Being a politician running for office wasn’t part of the plan. I know what it’s like to have a job. I know what it’s like to be a homeowner during COVID,” Hawk said. “I know what it’s like to be fired from your job and unemployed during COVID. I know what it’s like to have a part-time job to pay for college and still have to take out a student loan to pay for it.”

Hawk said there is no experience more relevant than being an everyday American.

“I only have normal human experience. I just have the normal American experience that a lot of these people who have been in Congress for decades can’t even grasp what it’s like to just live as Americans,” Hawk said.

expenditure

Hawk and Cammack fall into a shared Democratic and Republican ideology.

In addition to her top priority of restoring a woman’s right to an abortion, Hawk’s primary concerns are ending child poverty, expanding preschool education in public schools, and reducing gun violence.

Hawk said she aims to reduce child poverty by reinstating the temporary child tax credit introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic, which Hawk said has reduced child poverty by 40% in the United States. Hawk has criticized Cammack for voting against making the tax credit permanent.

Hawk said she aims to reduce gun violence by eliminating background check loopholes for every gun sale and transfer, which she says has the support of 84% of Americans.

Cammack is a vocal opponent of abortion and gun control, and previously voted against making the pandemic-era child tax credit permanent.

Cammack won her office on a conservative platform for growing jobs, securing our southern border, standing up for law enforcement, defending our Second Amendment, promoting fiscal responsibility and defending life, according to her campaign website.

fundraiser

Cammack raised $2.2 million, of which she spent $1.8 million, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission. According to FEC filings, Hawk raised $76,482.35, of which she spent $49,881.27.

Cammack raised $1.1 million in the 2020 election cycle, almost all of which she spent. Cammack’s Democratic 2020 opponent Adam Christensen raised $251,860 and spent $254,948.

Cammack’s biggest donor is her own joint fundraising committee, the Georgia-based American Victory Fund, from which she received $433,190. American Victory Fund Treasurer Paul Kilgore is also Treasurer of Cammack’s American Grit PAC Leadership PAC, which donates to other Republican candidates.

Cammack also received money from PACs associated with Koch Industries, media conglomerates Comcast Corporation and Cox Enterprises, Home Depot, Marathon Petroleum Corporation, and American Crystal Sugar Company and United States Sugar Corporation.

Hawk’s biggest source of funds is ActBlue, a Massachusetts-based online platform widely used by Democratic candidates across the country to raise small-dollar funds, from which she received $5,126. Hawk’s largest single donation comes from Kevin Rowe of California-based K Rowe Investments LLC, who contributed $2,900.

Hawk said the fundraising gap was always anticipated by her campaign.

“That’s what happens when you’re willing to take money from literally anyone. And I’m not willing to take money from anyone. It’s taking money from gun lobbyists, from phosphate mining companies, from people who are actively working against the things that we need here,” Hawk said. “And their voices show that this is important to them. I don’t have millionaires in my pocket because that’s not the one I prioritize. And that’s not what I work for.”

Amounts raised and spent by Cammack, Hawk, and Christensen in the last two election cycles. (Silas Morgan/WUFT News)

looking ahead

Cammack won 57% of the vote in 2020. Republicans have held the 3rd district since Yoho’s election in 2013. Democrats are expected to lose the House of Representatives to Republicans, following a trend for an incumbent president’s party to lose seats. President Biden has long been criticized for soaring inflation nationwide.

Republicans recently overtook Democrats in early voting efforts across Florida.

Christensen reliably won Democratic Alachua County in 2020 by 86,857 votes compared to Cammack’s 52,914. Cammack gained the other five counties included in the district. This election is the first since the district was redistributed after the 2020 census. Whoever wins the election will represent the newly drawn district.

Danielle Hawk is optimistic about the future.

Despite the longstanding stalemate in Congress, Hawk said she believes both political parties can still come together to pass legislation that truly benefits the average American citizen.

Hawk cited Congress’ passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, gun control legislation sponsored by Florida’s senior Republican Senator Marco Rubio, as proof that common sense legislation is possible.

“They were able to find common ground and work together to save lives,” Hawk said. “So it’s possible, but people like my opponent will consistently vote against bipartisan common-sense legislation because their special-interest donors tell them to.”

Cammack voted against the law.

source

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